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This Dark Water (Sasha Massey - Lafayette, LA)

Each day I sing and perform I count as victory over blatant favoritism and over all a system built to fail us.
Something setup to remind us we are other. Wrong. Ugly. So much that we have to fight to learn a history hidden. And love how we are made while everything around us screams change. Straighten your hair. We tan you bleach....She was a warm brown. Blue undertones.
I remember her.
She sang to me. Her favorite thing was to make me sing along to the Reading Rainbow theme song when I was little. When she was still here.
Her absence hangs over me like an overcast sky. Pushing my feet down harder with every step. The coming rain is pressed to my temples and crowding my mind. Making my knees buckle.
Crying in the shower where no one can hear me but God. Father. Silent. Always listening. Watching me slam into emotional walls, stand up and covered in new scars. Where is she?
Forgiveness is not for them. It is for you. That finally you might stop blaming yourself as you see her face in the mirror. Stare at her picture and memorize her smile frozen in sepia tones. Did she ever wish she could turn to stone when people hurt her like me? 
Did she forgive my grandmother for saying it was her fault for being raped at 13 and again in her 20's? I wish I could talk to her.
Instead I have questions. Emptiness. Missing pieces inside me.
Crooked stitches connecting torn seams. Working out until I tore muscles in my chest. Carried down stairs by paramedics. Sitting in an emergency room looking like nothing was wrong with me.
Wondering like you did, "If I left, would anybody care?" We are all forgettable dust being cruel to each other with our quickly disappearing lives.
Eyes overflowing. Ears ringing. Dizzy with panic every morning wondering how I'll pay these bills with this many jobs that combined don't pay worth a cent all by myself.
Up to my neck in this dark water.

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