Tonight, my heart is heavy.
When I say heavy,
I mean heavy like an anchor perfectly tied in a bow around my bare ankle,
It holds me down and keeps me there,
until I breathe in the coastal salt water sky.
I didn’t bargain for this life,
I didn’t ask for this.
I was okay with living blindly,
living without knowing my way of living wasn’t the only way,
staring blankly at a pulpit listening to hallelujahs and saving grace,
aware of nothing but what I was told,
be pretty and kind,
stay on the narrow path and nothing will catch you,
nothing will cause you to catch fire, either.
I love the way it burns, but
that doesn’t mean my beating heart won’t ache and my skin won’t crawl,
at the thought of what goes behind the cosmetics I put upon my skin and my hair.
It doesn’t mean my lungs don’t stop for a heartbeat while I realize the harm that went into the production and murder of the pig upon my plate,
the pigs heart beats just like the dog at my feet,
I can’t handle the irony any longer.
Tonight my heart is heavy.
When I say heavy,
I mean heavy like a book bag hanging from a child’s shoulders with books that follow standards that mean nothing to the child,
but her shoulders will begin to ache before she’s old enough to realize that she should be careful what she’s spoon-fed.
A field trip to the zoo where the lions were once the king of the jungle and now they sit behind bars we so proudly built, with our innovative ways of thinking—
just like we taught the natives to use guns.
Aren’t we something else?
Are we really that arrogant to think we have the right?
Don’t rock the boat,
make sure you play the game,
I’m tired of the monopoly that we think is okay,
let’s criticize everybody but the man in the mirror.
I am sorry,
I am terribly terribly sorry,
for the lack of thought I put into buying all of those clothes that were the cause of hours and hours of slave labor,
just because red looks good on my skin,
I am ashamed that I once thought my way was right and yours was wrong,
Who am I to say anything at all,
Who are we to keep thinking we aren’t society and society is the problem,
Tonight my heart is heavy,
for those who’ve lost their lives—
why is it always an opportunity to push a political agenda?
Tonight, my heart is heavy,
and I thank God it finally is,
For I can’t continue living a life in vain,
consumed with my own success and worldy desires,
my quest to find the perfect prince charming and live a life behind a picket fence,
it’s what we are told,
so therefore it’s what we do,
but I can’t do it anymore,
the anchor finally pulled me to the bottom of the ocean,
and I grew fins, gills and a tail on the way down.
Author: Emily Gordon
Editor: Renée Picard