Letter To My Latest Street Abuser

Dear friend
You seem to forget
You’re the same as me
Survivors of reality
Hearts beating rapidly
Lost in the sea
Of our venom
As you spit yours at me

Did you actually
Just unzip your jeans?
Do you understand
What it means
When you dribble out 
Your obscenities?
Your humanity
On its knees
Begging you to freeze
The hate
Just for a moment’s relief?

Do you understand the depth of your disgrace?
Exposing the underside of the human race
Claiming ownership of public space
Flapping your fragility in my face?

My tears
Are not spawned by your jeers
Not drawn by the blunt edge of your fears
You are merely a symptom
Of the years
Still to fight

My tears are
Of sorrow
For all the lives taken
And blighted
By a short-sighted world
My anger a flag unfurled
A standard of hope, and

In the march
Toward dignity
I believe we will see
The day when the functions of my body
Do not determine the degree
Of respect accorded me
When love is not a reason for hate
That day will be too late
For too many

My tears
Are for young men committing suicide
After learning that pride 
Is conserved when you hide
Your feelings from sight
Loved ones
Silenced in their plight
Or lost to the night

You and I, my friend
Have both soaked up a sunrise
Choked up in surprise
Cloaked up in disguise
So many times
In our parallel lives
Both been red with shame
Bled on the sidelines of our own game:
We both have a name
Both know it’s hard enough
To get through the days

It works both ways
Even in this rage
I see clearly through my pain:
Remember to abstain
From blame

Would we observe such rabid heaving
If you knew to look for meaning
How to pick apart a feeling
Feel the steady breeze
At the helm of reason
How to look inside yourself and see
What you’re believing?

But we’re all in charge of the barbs on our own wire
Choose exactly when and where to build our fire
If you find it hard to contain your aggression:
Then sweetheart, you’re preaching to the choir

Here we stand
On broken pavement
Your feet but inches from mine
Our coats done up tight for protection
But there’s no time
Every moment of disconnection
Is a death
On our dime

So learn quickly
To comprehend and channel your hate
To dismantle instead of fixate
To be angry, and let your anger create
A better world, in which people 
Like you and me
Communicate

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