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.


I breathe with the
When the crack addict
I breathe with him.
When the street walker
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
A sigh longing for food,
I breathe with him.
The AIDS patient,
Whose only sin was birth,
Her final breath,
My lungs empty with her.
When the tyrant
Relaxes in his chair and
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
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
All we have to do is


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