If you lay down your head and feel The Desire
It may be a for a few seconds or fall into a while
Know that even though it has lived inside so many of us
We are still strangers
Trying to fight each other’s desires
I have always felt like the freshman, like everyone around me already had their place and were just being polite; making room for me in a space that was already full. That with my addition would be cramped.
I haven’t felt much like pushing words out recently. Because that is exactly how they feel, pushed. My brain this year has been more than ever affected by my body. This brown boy walking. This brown boy living. This brown boy existing. This boy pushing. Trying to be a voice, but one that doesn’t push away or disrupt those in the positions of power of the places where I want to be to excavate my thoughts to the audiences that…who I hope that, need to hear me. I am that, I am that ellipses. Omitting words to ensure that I am not upsetting. Leaving them somewhere in the crevices of my own brain, so that I don’t have to shove them into the forefront of yours.
I am getting used to it.
Did you know that blankets can feel like concrete anchors; binding your body to a bed, already consumed with – covered by your tears, your anxious sweat, some crumbs from late night binging, and above all else your desire. No not sexual – The Desire. The Desire to get up and go off into the world. The Desire to answer a text, to return that call. To engage. It isn’t for lack of want, nor the lack of need, but it can get tricky. Tricky when the brain tells us it wants nothing more than to be alone; tricks us into thinking we are alone. Tricks us into saying our friends don’t really want us, that we are not needed. That we, “us” were just a fleeting moment in time. Add to that the fear of existing in this world as an other. Even worse, as a target.
You are alone with your concrete anchor and The Desire is taunting you.
How do we demolish the shadow that for many of us is ever present? It goes by many names,for some of us is it our actual self. We can treat some parts of the shadow with pills and substance. But there is no fulfillment. How can there be when the world itself is changing with you? For you?
You are filling a cup with tiny holes at the bottom. The stronger the substance the more rapid the water flows from the faucet , overwhelming the holes – and in that moment your glass is suddenly full. But you have never known fullness before. And it proves to be just as overwhelming as being entirely empty. You exist knowing that having far too little is exhausting; and having it all is something you are not worthy of. You walk a tightrope of understanding that it is your place, to always feel out of place. You are a freshman. We allow the faucet to get out of hand from time to time, and allow ourselves to feel excess but we know no limitations for the things we have never had, and won’t be able to hold on to, and so either we or society decides to reduce the flow, and just like that our cup begins to drain. And just like that we are back to living with the shadow of The Desire.
I feel pain that you are gone. That he is gone. That she will be too. I feel, no, I am sorrow – a state that feels constant, familiar, and somehow like a friend harboring in an enemy. Lingering in everyday life are the reminders of those who used to walk with us. A laugh that sounds too familiar. A hairstyle that you knew well. A story you’ve just read, a movie you want to see, a moment that would have instantly turned into an inside joke; but you take it in alone.
So, on those days, when the concrete anchor is on top of our chests. When the cup is all but fully drained. When we are lost in the memories that have brought us to this place. How do we, how do I get the words out to tell you? How do I dig into the crevices I possess, and give you a flashlight? How do I share with you that The Desire lives inside of me? That while I seem like a freshman, I have been here for so long. Purgatory that is fueling The Desire.
This brown boy is trying. While I watch so many of my brown skin folk dying.
Though we have been here for centuries. America treats us as freshman. So many firsts. Because we have never been given the chance before.
This trans boy is trying While so many of my brothers and sisters are being silenced by violence. The Desire of others and theirs as well.
Though we have been here forever. We were not always in view. And now our pride, our celebration of self, it is killing us.
My black life matters.
Her trans life – which is charged with the same heartbeat as yours.
Maybe even more.
So we push out these words even though we are tired. Even though we fight The Desire. Even though we. are. so. tired.
We have made ourselves the brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles and even the mothers and the fathers
that many of us have lost along the way.
If I breathe a day longer, I am fighting.
The Desire may take you, as it has taken so many. And if it does please know that we’ll miss you. But that we understand.
While the world never let you move past being a freshman; know that you were in fact a professor.