Declaration of Independence

Written by: Hana Ryusaka

Take your filthy strands 

of reasoning, shedding 

off-white from my hair. 

I claim this fistful of universe

as my own. Let my mind expand

and dance, unfettered in the fall

-in glory-

Let the rain cleanse my faith again

as I sing to a god 

I know but have never understood. 

Let me brush quick-healing

scars through the sky with my wrinkly fingers

and leave barely-there imprints from where

the balls of my feet embraced earth. 

This is me.

I will not be patronized. 

I will not be underestimated.

I will not be clapped shut.

And I will not make my life a mockery.

I will stand on my own

until I find the place that makes sense

to me.