Dirty Tears


United States
38° 7' 29.5968" N, 84° 30' 4.4784" W

They say I’ve got dirty tears,
The ones that run down my face are not the same,
The blood I bleed is much too dark
My bruises far too faint,
And I’ve got dirty tears
Don’t get me started about my skin

My skin.
How can a shell of me hold so much weight?
How can something so scared and sacred define all that I am?
I am brown.
But I’m still a man.
Or a woman.
Pushing, pulling, shoving and grueling just to make it through another day.
And then SMACK
The stagnant sound of angry flesh upon flesh
And then I am F
Proving myself small.
I am not small.
I’m not pitiable. I’ve got strength inside me to make it through this journey.
No matter how long it takes

“Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear”
This is what the bible says.
And if my Father, thou art in heaven thinks I’m meant to be barred
Meant to be beset
Meant to be beaten
And burned
And broken
Then I guess it must be so.
But does he see my scars?
The ones I’ve kept hidden?
Wrapped, wrapped, and wrapped again under a fine layer of cloth.
To protect them like painful little secrets.
They are ones I’d never tell.

I wept the morning after my papa died
I remember the last words he’d spoken to me
through lips caked with blood and eyes that were grey he said
“Sweet sweet amazing Grace, how precious
Was that sound she sang. She’s coming coming
coming for me. I just can’t wait to be free.”

I’ll always remember those words.
That frazzled phrase spoken through a fearful mouth
These are the same words that rush through me
Like a flowing river
Like those dirty tears I cry
And they make me stronger
They call me home

I’m coming home.

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