Breathe

This is a poem written by our good brother, A. Jarrel Hayes(@ajh_writes and @ajh_books on twitter). He is a long time supporter of Asylum, and we show all of our Asylum brethen and sistren love, and eternal gratitude for blessing Asylum with this marvelous piece.

BREATHE

I breathe with the
Community.
When the crack addict
Inhales,
I breathe with him.
When the street walker
Inhales
The night air that
Smells of her baby’s skin
And steels her resolve,
I breathe with her.
I also breathe
With the pusher and pimp
That trap others
In the prison
Of their own souls.

My community stretches
Farther than my block
Or nation.

When the emaciated child
Exhales
A sigh longing for food,
I breathe with him.
The AIDS patient,
Whose only sin was birth,
Exhales
Her final breath,
My lungs empty with her.
When the tyrant
Relaxes in his chair and
Exhales
A cloud of cigar smoke,
Thankful the revolt
Was unsuccessful,
I am there to put out
His ashes.

The community is larger
Than a village
Or country.

Hopefully the dispossessed
Breathes
In the same air
As the small business owner,
Student, 40-hour employee,
And the part-time worker
Absorbing the bullshit
Of a minimum wage job
Just to make ends meet.

The air of opportunity
And advancement
Hangs around us
In a fog much thicker
Than the one for our
Forefathers.
All we have to do is

Breathe.

By A. Jarrell Hayes
An audio version of this poem is available for free download at www.ajhayes.com

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