How safe can your world possibly be
when even the school principal lines you up a couple of inches from a cinder-block wall
and punches you in the chest against the wall as he questions you.
You cannot tell your parents.
You have no one to speak to about this.
There is no one.
There is no one to tell.
This world is very dangerous.
It will not let you be anything you want to be.
It will beat you if it needs to,
to stop you from living your life.
It will not let you be who you are.
It will trap you again and again
until finally you are spirited away into another world,
God willing, not so bad.
And up at the top of the hill, your Mississippi mother knows too,
that it is too dangerous to be who you are.
So she too will try to not let you.
Connecticut and Mississippi have more in common than I used to think.
But now you have to carry all of that burden from Canner Street with you.
Inside, nowhere to tell it.
as a fester.
Hampering your every move to outdistance it.
But most importantly you have no experience of living your life,
no confidence in a world of sheer danger.
A world always just a heartbeat away even when you think you are safe.
Today it is a very progressive school.
Its darker secrets gone, swept away in gentrification.
The early post-war infusion of immigrants
replaced largely by college grad students,
with high expectations
How do we live such different lives.
How does life keep trying over and over.
I don't know. I don't know.