There are days
I can’t get out it bed
I can’t eat
I eat too much
Where I count the scratches on my skin
There are nights
I can’t sleep
I wake up gasping for air and my heart beating out of control
I claw my shoulders and arms in my sleep
There are places I can not go because I see it for what it is
There are people I can not fuck with because I see them for what they are
The worst was seeing myself.
How I contributed to and still contribute to the world poison.
There are a lot of people who think I and people like me don’t work but we do.
You won’t see the results in my banking account
It’s in the muscles of those I’ve worked on
the amount of tears my skin has soaked up
burnt out novena candles smelling like hope, justice or a road opened on some child’s altar
somebody finally resting after a late night phone call
some ones expression of validation after reading words written in moments or rage or realization
You’ll see the consequences of this constant effort of confronting social injustice and the gaslighting inherent to maintaining the current status quo in an exhausted smile, glazed over eyes, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, disordered eating, disordered sleeping, trust issues, broken relationships, suvivor’s guilt and resistance to receiving self/community care.
I stay offering/doing work for the people who exchange stability and “sanity” for our collective liberation
I stay lying to myself and others by saying
Still, I am aware that I am luckier than most. I have a home, I have access to food.
I see you
I see us
I see how we
Black and Brown and Femme in particular were taught that if we want something we have to be willing to die for it.
I want us to live to see “it”
This is dangerous work
Not just to the people who do it but all those who are close to them.
So if you’re reading this and there is somebody in your life doing the work start doing something for them.
Say I see you and thank you
Buy them a meal
Throw money in their PayPal or purse when they aren’t looking
Send them something sweet to remind them of the sweetness life has
But do something
Because they are literal dying for you to live.