if the personal is political then
is there any part of my body that
does not belong to the movement?
 
can my lung breath for itself or
must it also gasp for the revolution? 
do my feet walk for themselves or are
they only preparing for the march? 
does this brown exist outside of struggle?
does this queer matter if it’s no longer transgressive?
this gender if it can no longer dissent?

if the personal is political then i wonder if
the revolution asked for consent
wonder if i gave it the first time i
picked up a microphone and pronounced
‘PAIN’ and the papers reported ‘POLITICS’
the next day
and i wonder if there are politics without pain these days?

when we must use our tongues as knives and scrape off all
of the color, all of the violence
and place them in petri dishes for you to consume

like soundbytes, 
like each piece of me is an intersection for your theory, 
like all we are is a constellation of trauma
and quotes and broken

if the personal is political then do i own these samples? 
do i own the pain? 
do i own myself?
or is this the reward for the job completed:

how many tears i make you shed
how many paradigms i make you shift

if the personal is political then how many hours
can i sleep tonight? how many boys should i kiss?
how many lies must i tell? 
until i prove myself activist
or rather
prove myself boring
prove myself happy

if the personal is political than can we be happy
when our politics resemble the nightmares
we are trying so desperately to wake from?

if the personal is political then will you love me
when i turn off my phone? will you forgive me if i
am late to work? will you respect me if i miss the meeting?
will i matter if i am incapable of crying?
will i matter if i am incapable of bleeding?

do we matter if we are incapable at all?

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