Thursday, May 29, 2014


I couldn't breathe
So I grabbed for my inhaler
Two puffs to bring the breath back
Only, still the air didn't fit in my lungs
Puff after puff, but I couldn't squeeze it in
Like I couldn't squeeze enough time in my day
Like I couldn't squeeze enough thigh in my jeans
I began to realize it was about fit
Fitting the air into my lungs
Fitting the clothes around my body
Fitting in

Fitting in with the hood I left behind
and the friends I've made
Fitting into cubicles
and timetables
Squeezing into dinner parties
and dollars out of my wallet
Squeezing my voice into tight spaces
Fitting my color onto white walls
I mean my culture
My culture of down home Black
My culture of educated America
Fitting that vegan at my dinner table

I can't breathe!
Puff on my inhaler
Huff out my thoughts
To people who can't squeeze me in
Friends whose colorblindness
-whose blindness-
Means I have to squeeze into their lives
But there's no room for mine
I can't breathe because
I can't be what they are
I can't be what I was

And they tell me to squeeze in
To fit in
The time to see things their way
But I can't breathe and they can't see that seeing is breathing and breathing is being
And even if they don't
I gotta have room for me