PhotoPoem – I Am My Threadbare Suit

Posted: December 13, 2013 in History, Poetry, Politics
Tags: , , , ,

06

I Am My Threadbare Suit

From far away when people see me,

They see a white man in a suit.

They see my brown hair, freckles,

And the bags under my brown eyes.

 

They don’t see my Portuguese ancestry.

Immigrants like everyone else,

Who came here seeking a better life,

And got it through blood and sweat.

 

They don’t see the esteemed privilege,

Of growing up white in the suburbs.

Being gaybashed in middle school,

To the point where you leave school.

 

They don’t see that my three piece suit,

Which looks flawless from a far,

Is threadbare, breaking down, and worn out,

Held together by string and staples, love and hope.

 

They don’t see that my eyes used to change colors.

Long ago, with my mood, when I was something

Other than somber, melancholy, beaten down.

 

While they may see my eyes, burning intense eyes,

And they may see the bags, signs of a soul spread thin,

They do not see what wearies me, they do not see what ignites me.

 

If they came close enough to talk to me,

They would learn that I am no different from they.

I am flesh and blood, skin and bone,

I am a human being with feelings and passions.

 

They would learn that my passions are inflamed by injustice.

By the belief that a person being in a suit makes them better.

By the existence of my privilege, and inability to wash clean.

 

They would feel my exhaustion, radiating a latent dis-ease.

Exhausted from working, fighting, fucking, and friending,

From stressing to depressing, and a generalized lack of release,

From saving, from spending, of the cycle never ending.

 

Exhausted from planning and priming, and having to make poetry rhyming

From heartbreak and back ache, the labors of love and capital.

From subprime lending and rich rule bending, and all that corporate bling

From people living asleep, walking through the charnel house as cattle.

 

From far away when people see me,

They see a white man in a suit.

They see my brown hair, freckles,

And the bags under my brown eyes.

 

They don’t see that the man is the three piece suit,

Which looks flawless from a far, but is threadbare

Broken down, worn out, held together by love and hope.

Love for all beings, and hopeful for our future

 

They don’t see that my eyes yearn to change again.

On the horizon, seeing something other than oppression,

In my body, feeling something other than depression.

 

While they may see my eyes, inflamed by injustice,

And they see the bags, the signs of an endless struggle,

They do not struggle with me, they are merely coal.

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Comments
  1. Ann says:

    Very moving poem. I truly enjoyed reading it. Thank you for sharing some very intimate feelings to help the rest of us better understand our lives.

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