Saying goodbye to the world as I’ve known it. I am not grieving. Grief is done. Watching pain unfold since I was a child, only now acknowledged by the whole world. Imagine being told all your life that your truths are not true, that your struggles don’t exist. “Angry Black Woman” label slapped on me when/before I speak. Eye rolls when I complain about not being heard. Eye rolls, proof that I am not being heard. Knowing when I start a new job that I am not on the management track, the way others are automatically just for being in the “right uniform.” Wonder why these people don’t care about their work? Huh. Imagine kissing your sons, your husband goodbye when they go to the store or to work or out for a run, saying “be careful out there” with a sad finality in your heart knowing their chances of not returning are high, too high. But these have not existed I’ve been told. These are no more than rantings scribbled hastily on the back of a so-called race card. Ignored, eating poverty for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Crammed into sardine-can communities where no one can breathe and final relief comes only with a cry of “I can’t breathe.” Watching “legal” firearms traipsing with impunity down a street past condoning sirens after tearing life from angry-for-no-reason animals. Self-defense. How dare you attack me for attacking you. How dare you try to rip my murderous privilege from my justice-blood-stained, vigilant hands. You deserve to die for trying to live. Fear of being done unto as you’ve done unto others. Original world gangsters, looting called pillaging, colonizing called exploration, genocide called taming the wilds of undiscovered places swarming with already-there lives. Come to my land, brand me a savage, then savagely remove me by any means necessary. Denied the ability to expand and then ridiculed for not expanding. Work, grow, thrive, slaughter. Work, grow, thrive, slaughter. Work, grow, thrive, slaughter. Work, aw, why bother. Lazy, shiftless, don’t wanna work. Shoved in a ghetto and ridiculed for living in a ghetto. Red lines for cage. Red lines for stifling. Angry. Hostile. Violent. Taking what belongs to others. Like diapers. Like TVs. Not important goods like cultures, like lands, like proud family names. Loot for the important things, not for worthless daily crap. What am I to miss? What am I to mourn? Why should I run to douse the flames of my prison? The fire is so pretty. It lights the truth. Bonfire of our vanities. The world burns. Scorched earth revealing naked humanity, insides revealed. Revelation. Destroyed world. Finally, all equal. Naked, having nothing, being nothing, knowing nothing. Every eye will see the same want. Every stomach will bear the same gnawing hunger. We will live together or we will die apart.