The boy who cried freedom

By: Taylor Zachary ~Staff Writer~

I have my mother’s mouth and my father’s eyes;

on my face, they are still together.

I have traveled outside

my body and returned

to bones cracked on pavement

& blood spilled in concrete seams.

I saw Katrina in my reflection,

red sea crashing between buildings:

Black bodies and babies drowning in breath

& blood,

& brothers,

& sisters,

& mothers,

& fathers.

No oxygen is the logic of policy – pollution.

Suffocation is drowning out of water.

Snipers knelt behind American flag

& carved heaven

into my body

one inch at a time.

One memory

at a time.

My skin mixed with American blood

softens sharp bristles.

My Black cheeks laid across a blank canvas:

Standing and watching smiles go unanswered.

Ten seconds is the hallmark of four years.

Emails are not reconciliation.

I was taken to the top of the world and left on the floor.

My limbs extended into each corner of a page;

daggers were drawn across the surface of my chest.

Metal teeth cut into my organs.

White fingers touched my stomach.

Dreams were pulled from my sky

& tattered feet walked on my clouds like water.


When my lungs broke the surface tension of your palm,

I taught my heart how to breathe.

Today, I live caged between

lines, suffocated by thoughts

imprisoned to white space.

Our time flows like oceans returning to the sea.

Where is heaven if not all around me?

I am places inside myself you could not see

or dare.

I swear. I know my destination.

I am just not there.

Xavier is America; God bless you if it’s good to you.

I followed your heart into the wild,

outran your love and denial;

I drank holy water,

meditated in your eyes,

& sat at the center of peace


the sound of earth cracked my bones

& I traveled outside myself…

Let love lead you home. Let redemption keep you warm.

Please, no more broken bodies.

Taylor Zachary is a senior sociology major and staff writer for the Newswire
from Oakland, Calif.