I can’t breathe/Make me a paintbrush, lungs

I lay in a too-large bed watching the sunset in a hotel high rise,
decadent truffle wrappers strewn on the sheets
of the most comfortable bed I have ever laid on
Newly purchased clothes haphazardly hurricained around the room
narrowing my eyes
angry about a fly
that is now dancing a mating ritual around my kombucha
Asshole.
Simultaneously I read the headlines from my friends
about another body killed without accountability

If this were two years ago
I would be skipping work
marching alongside my friends
Writing poems,
Asking questions about allyship,
Burning with the desire for political justice, for social justice,
For human rights.

But I’m a pop singer now. I have fans. And a record label.
Not to mention a persistent insect asshole roommate that won’t leave my delicious beverage alone.
After all, I wouldn’t want to let the fans down by speaking out.
It could offend people. It could make them uncomfortable.
After all, people only want to listen to my music, right?
Not be force-fed my ideology or stance on human rights

But when I think about it-
Isn’t being a plus-size, bi-polar, crop-top wearing lesbian inherently political?
If not me, then who?
If not now, then when?

1. The word “indict” means simply to bring to trial.
Just because you didn’t mean to kill somebody doesn’t mean that they are not dead by your hand.
2. Drunk drivers never mean to hit families
3. Sometimes I get drunk
4. Sometimes I get drunk with my own privilege
5. Perhaps talking about race isn’t easy. Perhaps the conversation should be about police accountability. There are a lot of necessary conversations. Perhaps we should talk about the asshole fly trying to weasel itself into my expensive drink.

6. Yes. All lives matter. This conversation is not about white people and the thirst to be included, white people. This conversation is about being a person of color and that relationship to authority.
And the naiveté of some whiteness, along with the concept of being “colorblind”
is endearing at best
Segregation ended in 1954, but there is no statistic I can give you
that says systemic racism ended just because you were born.
I appreciate your soft youth, your hunger for peace
If you are indeed “colorblind” my loves,
How could you ever see the vibrance of any canvas
Of Magritte or Basquiat or Picasso
Or the world around you

Reality is terrifying.
Humanity is frightening.
But when you see the dark
with full eyes, wide as all
You have the gift of illumination
To see also the facet of humanity that is starkly beautiful
That is the core of humanity’s magic
To stand shivering in it’s wake
Aware of your own humanness.

7. I want to be a paintbrush
I want to paint this beautiful sunset on the eyelids of every single one of them surrendering mid-death
mid-cop
mid-justice
half-life
hands up
i can’t breathe
My sheets are twisted around me
My sheets are crisp and rich and the building is tall I am sweating in my own privilege
and the fly is back.
Did I mention the fly
Did I mention the fly was black
Did I mention the fly was a black man
I didn’t kill him
I went on the patio of this high rise
and wrote this
while the sunset held my hand with unfiltered indigo and pomegranate
Did you see it too

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