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It Speaks

We are the tired kids
walking the sidewalks
Kicking at smashed aluminum cans
with the scuffed white toes of our converse.
We’re the kids leaning forward tense with excitement
in the barbershop chairs
Watching our hair fall away beside us
drifting in locks to the floor,
scattered on the linoleum,
It’s like watching a mask removed.
We’re the kids with our heads in our hands
in school
in tears in the middle of class, middle of a lecture
Scrubbing rivulets of tears off our
feverishly-red faces,
we’re smoldering with embarrassment

I'm holding my hand out to us.
This is my offer of brotherhood,
solidarity in solitude.