Dear Black Body,

Black and Wordy

Happy 30th birthday.

I never expressed this outwardly (or inwardly), but I have been fearful of your destruction my entire life. I also have neglected to tell you how much I love you.

You wouldn’t know it from my introverted disposition, but in this skin my heart is always on my sleeve, and I want you to know that I can’t live without you—you complete me.

I remember the way in which you moved my shy, 13-year-old, wavering legs through the streets of Southeast San Diego, and I can recall the way in which you held me tightly to the point of tremors when another black body dressed in all red demanded, “wave yo fist blood!”

I knew life could be usurped from your grasp at the whim of another human at anytime; I saw the statistics and you internalized them. Do you remember when my friends and I…

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