Graphic by Haewon Ma

I have a strange habit of punctuating my sentences with


Speaking for others; feeling obligated to present my opinions

As hypotheses


Free thinking is a luxury for me

A dish only to be enjoyed on special occasions


Intellectual autonomy is a delicacy


I’ve served it to others countless times

Chilled with cynicism

Flambéed with rage, but most often silently

With a generous side of concession

Implied agreement

Choking on miseducation and poisoned food for thought


Of course

I’ve only ever gotten scraps:

A theory seasoned with one-dimensional reason

Expired notions of freedom and equality


Wilted bundles of legislative symbolism to last me until

The next meal

Next movement

Next generation


Maybe then we’ll have a seat at the banquet table

Find ourselves in conversation with


Not complicit

Or passive victims

of the



Black imagination


Perhaps we’ll be people there

Not problems

And speak our “selves” in complete sentences

Rather than a series

Of questions

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