We Wear a Legacy

We Wear a Legacy

When I think of you, I can feel the earth vibrate under my feet.
My legs are broken pedestals, begging my feet to find you.
I stood in the shadows, hearing the pejoratives spoken about my soul.
I know where you are, but I dare not allow my mind to see the insult he performs.
This life has become a quagmire, a slow-moving weapon of death
a quicksand that pulls the experience from our bones; we are filleted, our pain naked.
I sit in a corner with a pan of water, praying I can wipe the exploited smell from your skin, without breathing too deeply. It is a stench that lingers.
I am trying not to be angry at you, but you don’t even cry anymore when he takes you. You no longer look at me with my pain in your eyes.
Tonight you did not wash his smell from your skin. You crawled into bed and slept. I am left standing in the corner with a pan of water not deep enough to drown myself.
Are these the nights we learned to stop needing each other in the dark?
Are these the nights the black family became irrevocably damaged?
Are those the days we chose mulatto over dark skin.
Times when we chose good hair over the perceived bad.
We wear a legacy split down the middle, black-and-white heritage.
We are co-mingled in ways that make some of us hate who we are.
When I think of you, I can feel the earth vibrate under my feet.
We fear what we see, it is not the color. We fear each other because we are not who we thought we were.
My legs are broken pedestals, begging my feet to find you, and me.

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