We are the human race. We are the one who sits comfortably alone in a darkened theater, and we are the one who cannot untangle the knots enough to figure who they are when not defined by others. We are the criminal and the saint; we are the villain and the hero. We are wild-eyed youth who do not yet realize how cruel humanity can be, and we are the weary, beaten-down soul who has forgotten how good some people still are. We are the howl and we are the whisper. We are the cry that ruptures the night and bleeds into the dreams of others, but is never spoken of, and we are the mother who weeps only when her children are sleeping so that they won’t have to know how despairing things really are. We are the oppressed and we are the oppressors. We are the calloused feet of a refugee seeking asylum in a still hostile land. We are the adolescent who will graduate into a gang instead of a college, who will not be handed a diploma, at a high school graduation, but a handgun, whose courses of study will include the color of concrete when his blood is spilled upon it, not because he has no wits, but because his wits will be deemed useless by a broken system, simply because they cannot be neatly dissected like a science experiment. We are the bullied and we are the disgraced. We are the clipped wings of angels. We are the one who grins absentmindedly over dinner with friends, but who is soundlessly lost in the thorns and torment of a illness no one else can understand. We are the carcasses of material junkies, who believe just one more soulless thing will evict their demons of infinite emptiness. We are prisoners of war, and we are prisoners of our minds.
See a video of me reciting this here.