I Wish I Could…

I wish I could…
scalp my crown
and situate the wig
atop of your head—
so you could feel
what it’s like
to fend off
fingers itching
to touch it.

I wish I could…
extricate my thoughts,
and deposit them
in your brain—
so you could hear
the ongoing, never-ending
internal dialogue
that incessantly works
to quickly and succinctly
diagnose and dissect
the people and surroundings
about me.

I wish I could…
take my shoulders
and swap them
with yours—
so you could feel
the heaviness of living
in a place
that doesn’t accept me
because of
the color of my skin.

I wish I could…
peel off my skin
and lay it over yours—
so you could feel
the prickly sweat
that awakens me
in the middle of the night
because the headlines
yet again
showcase the loss of life
of a young man
whose skin color
is the same
as my son’s

I wish I could…
abstract my heart
and drop it
in your chest—
so you could feel
its rapid heartbeat
when the police slowly drive by
while staring me down.

I wish I could…
slip into your world
but for a minute—
so I could see
what it feels like
to exist in society
without the fear and anxiety
that envelops me
every time
I look at the children
carried and birthed
by my body.

I wish I could…
slip into your world,
but for a minute—
so I could see
what it feels like
to let my sons
be humans
without prejudices.

I wish I could…
slip into your world
but for a minute—
so my sons
could be seen
as individuals
worthy of any and all
without judgement,
instead of
human targets
for implicit biases
and systematic constructs
aimed at destroying
their souls.

 I wish I could
change it all—
but this country, and
its unwillingness
to acknowledge
the stains
from its past
and its flaws
of the present,
won’t allow it.

Felicia Williams is an adjunct English instructor who works to help students understand, develop, and appreciate their individual writing process. She periodically blogs her thoughts on her WordPress site and posts her shorter “meanderings” on her My Meandering Mind Facebook page.

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