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September 15, 2020

poem the air i breathe

She is a New York based poet, performer, visual artist, and educator. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was one of the most widely known and best-loved American poets of the 19th century. creates global spiritual community, rooted in profound love, which cultivates wonder, imagination, and the courage to act. I need you to breathe. Quest for Meaning is a program of the Church of the Larger Fellowship (CLF).Get a weekly email from a member of the lead ministry team, news, announcements, and events. I love it!

when there are so many reasons. You're all my thoughts tied up as one, The laugh that entertains me. I need you to breathe. Both died from different circumstances kind of, one from HIV AIDS and possibly not havingIn each case their deaths may have been preventable if one had taken his meds and theinstead of sending him home saying, He wasn’t sick enoughboth more than six feet tall fierce and way ahead of their timeOne’s drag persona was Wonder Woman and the other started a black fashion magazineThey both knew each other from the same club scene we all grew up inWhen I was working the door at a club one frequentedHe would always say to me haven’t they figured out you’re a star yetAnd years ago bartending with the other when I complained about certain people andtreatment he said sounds like it’s time for you to clean houseBoth I know were proud of me the poet star stayed true to my rootsI guess what stands out to me is that they both wereAnd it makes me think the biggest and blackest are almost always more vulnerableMy white friend speculates why the doctors sent one homeremoved from race as if there were any rationale for sending him homeStill she credits the doctors for thinking it throughBut I speculate they saw a big black man before themMaybe because of his size color class they imagined him strongOnce when I’d been hospitalized at the same time as a white girlwe had the same thing but I saw how tenderly they treated herOr knowing so many times in the medical system I would never have been treated so terribly if IBoth deaths could have been prevented both were almost first to fall in this season of deathBut it reminds me of what I said after Eric Garner a large black man was strangled to death overSlamming his hand down on the pulpit at Donald Wood’s funeralyoung men who’d died from AIDS if they were buried at allBut I remember once him coming out of a Gay bar in BostonHe made me promise not to tell anyone in the familySo when they said parasite I knew something didn’t ring trueHis mother a seemingly healthy woman died shortly after thatAnd I know everyone blames Jussie Smollett for his lies and staged attackedbut it makes me think there was something very toxic going onEither that he was covering up an addiction or a hookup.Watching Assotto stand up at Donald’s funeral and tell the truthgoes down in history as one of the bravest moments I’d ever witnessedEither that or Audre Lorde spreading open the arms of her dashikiThat or seeing a friend at the height of the AIDS era Or an ex-lover on a beach taking off her top and refusingOr when Danitra Vance performed at The Public TheaterOr when Zakes Mokae in Master Harold and the Boys in the first Broadway playsaid to his white master, “Have you ever seen a Black man’s ass?”and pulled down his pants and revealed himself to the audience and still go out to work as if it hadn’t happened at allOnce when I was talking to a doctor, I doubted my strengthHe looked at me incredulously and said, “You are strong.”That and attending an event and asking white people to give upYes I often think of Assotto for the important placeseeing that they asked a young white woman to write aboutI want the point of outrage now to not only the historicizing of AIDSSalsa Soul/Arican American lesbians united for Societal Changebecause certainly they were on the piers and part of that historyThat and seeing panel after panel being organized on history and artall things important to the world and no one thinking or noticingit might be important to have a Black lesbian presentAnd what about the people who weren’t on the streets Just like in South Africa where they prevented intermingling

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