Written for Eric in 2014; Sharing – unchanged – for George in 2020

Do you breathe too, Officer?

What are we, anyway, underneath all
this air, 
these clothes?
A mother’s child
Skin and some holes
hair, moles.

What are we, anyway, underneath all
this color,
these cells?
Peel me free
Livers and hearts
lub, dub.

What are we, anyway, underneath all
this science,
these parts?
Sets of bones
mine fair, yours heavy,
206, just.

What are we, anyway, underneath all
this duplication,
these chains?
Sperm and egg romance
X, X or Y,
code, aligned,
no?

So,

why do your eyes – two, like me
see criminal, mine scared

Why do your ears – two, like me
hear danger, mine fatigue

Why does your nose – one, like me
smell smoke, mine summer

Why does your mouth – one, like me
say slurs, mine shock

Why do your hands – two, like me
make murder, mine care

Why does your life – breaths in and out, pisses and shits, eats, sleeps – one, like me
battle our sameness, mine

inequality?

What are we, anyway, underneath all
this world,
these moments,

shared breath?

Brains,
thoughtsfearswishesdreamsdesireslovesannoyancesneedshopesangershurtsgoalsmaladies,
stray eyelashes on Time’s left cheek

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