borderless by Jenuine Poetess

there are some
who would disqualify me
from writing these
words that rake
sharp as razors
over my bones
words that claw
on the
insides of my chambers
skin under nails
trails of blood
running down
words wanting out
to be said

sometimes I agree

what right have I
to tell a story
that isn’t mine

yet this burning outrage
this stifling sorrow
this aching wailing grief
is mine
I carry it with me
knots gnarled into my back
from bearing this burden

it has been mine
for centuries

but my skin
my skin
I’m always at war with
my skin

its complexion is fair
yet it represents
injustice to many who only see me
to them
I embody enemy
generations of greed
of pain

I will not stand
silently by
merely watching
as children flooding borders
fleeing nightmares-come-to-life
are turned away
and snuffed out

I will not sit idle and quiet
while mothers
steel themselves
against every urge to hold on
let go of their babies
sending them
to traverse terrains unknown
trekking through mountains
and jungles and deserts
and barbed wire
sustained on
the hope of freedom
the promise of welcome

I cannot abide
while Lady Liberty is gagged and bound
the muffles of her cries
echoing across time
she struggles and fights to pry loose
screaming into blackest night:
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”*

I will not remain mute
I will endure whatever criticism comes
it is a penance
though not mine to pay

I do not know
the depths of agony
there are some shoes into which
I cannot step
I will never claim to assume
another’s experiences
are anything like mine
or that I could begin to understand

that does not stop my soul
from writhing in weeping anguish
over what horrors exist
over what terror is brought down
upon ones so innocent

whatever appears on the outside
there beats within me
poet’s heart

*Inscription on Statue of Liberty, excerpt by: Emma Lazarus

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