Before i died

Before I died,

I was verified.

Paid with 

blue checks,

my name

spelled wealthy.

Once millions liked me

and followed me,

I had a reason

to live. 

*

I slaved like happy.

These Black knees

bent.

These Black hands

spent 

seasons

on the altar

of gods

who felt 

virtually 

real. 

These Black fingers

pressed

keys

like music,

like they

first learned to do

in the 6th grade

back when

Ms. Jackson taught me 

that typing was a rhythm,

a dance you choreograph

to say something

toward an end.

Pacing through

public school

classroom,

cliche posters,

walls painted bland,

she sang to me.

“Semi, semi, semi, 

space”

“A, a, a, 

space”

She drilled me 

to remember

that my leftmost finger 

goes on “a”,

rightmost:

Semicolon.

I still sang her song 

every time I worshipped 

in the sanctuary, 

every time I fixated 

on stained glass

windows

held in the sweat 

of my hand.

Windows iconic, 

windows veiled 

by curtains 

laced 

with the good stuff.

No wonder 

the high was insatiable.

No wonder

I could never keep 

the colored windows 

closed 

without craving the

next wind,

fleeting.

*

Blue and white

branded 

Facebook

more

home

than the sky.

Twitter

was a bird

flying free

til’ it crashed

into glass,

hashtag 

#deception. 

Instagram

framed pictures

with fragility

#feltcutemightdeletelater,

parentheses “if I don’t get enough likes”

and captured

moments

made 

to be liked

rather than 

to be lived.

*

Oh, my sanctuary,

a solace,

a swallowing 

of synthetic substitute 

to secure

my soul

with status.

I curated my life

for others 

to confirm

that I was worthy.

The moment I died

and traveled

beyond 

my last breath,

God confiscated 

all that I treasured

and burned it 

as worthless. 

*

If I could go back,

I would amass 

more matter

than applause.

I would choose 

resting 

in the God 

who knows me 

well 

and deep.

I’d drink that

Spirit water.

Loved,

Secured,

Living.

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