On the bottom

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People who are really
on the bottom
don’t want to be helped first
no, first they want to be witnessed
they don’t want to be invisible anymore
people stop listening to you when you’re
on the bottom
they treat you like you’re useless
but they still do fake niceties with you
with exquisitely furrowed brows
some people
on the bottom
cling to the fake niceties
and exclaim “I’ve found love!”
but then the niceties will evaporate
and they’ll be alone in the desert of Division Ave
realizing their oasis was sand

and the privileged
on their news TV
will gather round in circles
with perplexed faces
they pensively say
“why are the poor so sad?”
“why are black people so angry?”
“why are trans people so radical?”
“why do they not behave?”
if any single one of those
panel members
actually saw a black person
for what they really are and represent
if they lived as a trans woman
if they lived a decade in poverty
without hope of end
if from birth they fought within their soul
for an ounce of self-respect, often losing
they would immediately resign
and realize the questions are unanswerable
on purpose

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