Inside / by Yessenia Funes

I feel a swelling
Inside my chest
A pounding
So deep
I can't digest

Why it never goes away
Why things stay The same

I look up and
Another headline to read
Another hashtag to scream
Another human for whom to grieve

Everyone feels
The same
That feeling of
Hopelessness and
Of confusion

How am I
Supposed to deal
When those around me
Are blind
To the realities
That follow me
And him
And her
And us

The realities of being woke
And seeing
What cannot be unseen

The reality of liberty
Of freedom and justice
Of misery
And hands tied behind our backs
One foot to our throats
The other pinning our arms

No getting away
From the American dream
The one we see
Slipping away
More and more
Every day

The one we realize
Was never ours anyway

And with its fleeting farewell
That feeling—
The one inside my chest—
It roars and grows
And blows through the nostrils of my nose
That flare
Wet with rage
And sorrow I can no longer contain

To be free?
That's not for you and me

I'm not Black
I'm Brown
But he
With beautiful Black skin
Are kin

My brother
My sister
A friend
A partner

I release
The sensation
Of melancholy
And deprivation

I breathe and I accept
What I cannot change and
I dare myself
To change what I can

I begin
By feeling

And believing that
This feeling will go away

It must
It must

It must