It All Bends Toward Me

I possess enough privilege and enough power to relegate privilege and power to a discussion
I can examine privilege from a clinical perspective
Dissect it, measure it, or indulge it
I even have the privilege of ignoring privilege
On the topic of power I can pontificate with high-minded eloquence
I can leverage it to my advantage, or use it for any whom I deem worthy of it
I even have the power of pretending I don't have power
I possess the right chromosome, the right melanin, the right passport and the right bank account
The world bends toward me
If I ignore power and privilege, people think nothing of it
If I discuss it with a modicum of empathy, people consider me a saint
I can only win
Because the branches of the world are pushed down nearly to my hand
I can take the fruit without having to reach
To all those whom Jesus calls "my neighbor," the branches bend away
Power and privilege is not topic
It is the backhand of her husband
It is the constant presumption that he is up to no good
It is a checkpoint
It is deciding between selling her body or watching her children starve
To those whom Jesus calls "my neighbor," power is not a word, and privilege is not a concept
It is the heel of a boot, the bars of a jail, the glare from a window, the rejection of a loan
And until I stop tip-toeing around all the egg shells that me and my brothers have broken over the centuries,
And begin to turn power and privilege into something more than a discussion or a thesis or even a poem,
Then the branches of the world will never grow straight


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