“To Be ___________ in America;”a poem

Silencing myself is killing me softly like a hot whisper.

The pressure of impounding political corrections from my peers

Whenever I veer from the mainstreams ideals.

Opinions that dont necessarily hurt others,

But rather bruise their ego as we expand our narrative.

Our perspective of the truth is so narrow

That for most, it is easier just to continue on the path of pretending,

To be straight and white and male.


They dont get it, they dont get it.


And they never will because my mouth remains silent,

Although I’m constantly raging on the inside.

“Closed mouths dont get fed,” my mom says,

But in this case, a closed mouth keeps the corporate dollars pouring.

They’ll break you, but you still buy it.

That 9 to 5 just to stay alive and grinding your teeth in rush hour traffic.

Is this real? Is this life?

Waking up to news of more death

More mourning of the lives lost;

Deaths of those that had opposing opinions,

Those that had families, those who were going to change everything.

But they are, now, only dust.

Yet I am still here, grateful, but silent.


They dont get it, they dont get it.

They will come for Them too.


My otherness is just like your otherness.

Differences sure, but they oppress us both.

The struggle may have started bleak and Black,

Yet always knowing it’d turn on ANYONE refusing to remain


Watch your back, I’m watching mine, she’s watching hers.

“He had a gun,” they’ll claim,

“He was high, I was afraid!”

If only we could actually see what’s behind us

But the history lies in books in abundance.

Together we have beautiful strength in numbers

Yet we side-eye each other,

Becoming numb, cold hearted and closed off.



But they dont get it, they dont get it.


Just trying to peacefully survive,

Yet dying to speak out and be freed.

Because no one wants to be

The next Tupac, the next Asssata,

To be the next Malcolm, the next Mandela,

All killed, imprisoned or exiled.

Maya warned of the agony of an untold story.

Easy to cast aside the power of words,

Yet they fill our songs

Our heads, our hearts,

Our media, our laws.

Kill the lies that imprison you or be exiled into insanity.

Either way, you can not evade the inevitable.

So, am I afraid to die?

Or to be misunderstood? Or targeted?

Or just afraid to be uncomfortable?

Am I afraid to be me?

Or am I just a coward?

The struggle is real…


Will they ever get it?


Our differences make us who we are, who i am.

My reflection, who am i?

I code switch, button up and assimilate to be like The Man.

Hating him all the while, for his hand is pressing hard on my throat each day.


But I must like it… because silent, I stay.

I bet you like that flag,

Blue-blooded, lover of a guns,

Oh how beautifully, it waves for you.

Should I keep running this race while tied to a tree?

Seeing my peers pass me up never acknowledging their head start.

So focused, I am, on their privilege,

I neglected whats special about me.


Now I get it.


It about us, uniting.

Not only tolerance, but acceptance,

Inclusion, diversity of expression.

We may never agree,

But we can still be mindful of each other’s needs.

In a land that was never theirs, yours or mine,

But here we are,

Struggling to find our place.

Forget the dream, their brands of luxury.

Dismantle their agenda and strip the tyrants of their power.

Create our own lane, define life for ourselves.

Invest in our narrative and our dollar.

No need to convince others of your truth, live it!

Silence them by being you, unapologetically.

Afraid, but willing to brave the cost,

Or else live a life unfulfilled.

Silence is golden, no more.

Now I get it.

To be free in America,

I have to be, authentically, me.

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