By Karen Hewitt
I feel like I’m on fire and dead inside at the same time.
My nervous system is on edge.
My shoulders are at my neck.
I’m smiling at the computer.
Engaged in my millionth conversation today.
And I can’t.
I. Can’t. Stop.
I wrote my feet move slow
To try and explain how the days after
The last shooting…
The last altercation…
The last lynching…
It’s a large hell.
There is room for a nation.
The facts don’t matter much anymore.
We have all the books and research and essays
We still argue about how we got to this…
White hand on trigger
Black body on pavement.
The videos bring awareness.
But I’m not watching no more black bodies
End up lifeless on this here app.
I promise you,
I don’t wonder about what they did to escalate it…
I DON’T CARE WHAT THEY DID THEY DID NOT DESERVE TO DIE.
Not execution style.
Not like this.
I suppress my rage to make it through days.
Make it through interactions.
Keep smiles amongst well-intended folx.
I give some time to educate.
My capacity is waning.
I can’t keep speaking life to someone who
Doesn’t want to see.
Refuses to hear.
Resists and argues at every turn.
I see you all running.
I can’t bring myself to go outside today.
I see you all posting.
I knew I had to say something before I combusted.
The truth is I’m feeling everything.
Regardless of my emotion, it reads as anger.
Cause I AM angry.
No greater hell than the mind.
How do you find your place in a place
That never wanted you?
They say go back home.
But what is home but an idea of safety
Of belonging that we as black bodies have yet to see?
For the next one.
For the ones who already have gone.
White supremacy soils the roots of all this mess.
And some will disagree.
That’s where the sadness comes in.
Cause the argument is an argument.
And it shouldn’t be.
Karen Hewitt (Ze/Hir/She/Her) has been singing, performing, and creating since the age of 12 years old when she was classically trained as a singer with The Cincinnati Conservatory of Music Mini Singers. Karen has always found home in music, words, writing poetry and writing songs. She is a published author with the launch of her collection of healing spoken word poetry, Grounded. Karen has also been very present in the Columbus artist scene, appearing in many local improv shows, drumming at sound baths, singing with local musicians, and even curating her own musical, spoken word and improv poetry variety show, Invited. A native of Cincinnati, Karen earned her Bachelor of Science in Mathematics (minor in Education) at St. Francis University (PA) and then coached Women’s basketball there, Ohio University, and University of Kentucky. She came to Columbus to acquire her Master of Arts in Educational Policy and Leadership at The Ohio State University. Ze is currently serving as the Deputy Director at Kaleidoscope Youth Center.