Why Can’t We Be Better Human Beings?

I wake up with three strikes 
against me every morning; 
I’m Black, a woman, and bisexual. 
Before I take my first sip of coffee, 
or walk my dog or relieve 
the pressure my sinuses issue 
daily, I am a prisoner 
of a wrathful world.

There are some who deny 
the evil lurking within the 
shadows of our inhumane selves, 
but I see the anguish lining 
the faces of people struggling to 
live in the skin clinging to 
their bleeding flesh. 
Some of us have been yelling 
at the top of our lungs for 
decades; left with bruised voices.

Can you hear us? Are you listening?

Back when I dwelled in 
the closet, I messed around with 
a woman who had been 
“passing the time” with me — living 
out her fantasies. 
She’d learned this behavior from 
her father, who learned it from 
his own, and the cycle continued 
with her. I was a thing to 
lean on and in when her main 
source of comfort wasn’t around.

I have always been someone 
for people to try on, see if I 
fit, then exchange for a better 
model when that model is 
available. 
This is not the fault of 
one person, it is the birth 
of a damaging generation that
doesn’t know how to change or 
if it even can.

Why can’t we be better 
human beings? 
What’s stopping us? 
We would rather torture 
the helpless, bomb the harmless, 
and manipulate the oppressed than 
work in harmony toward solutions 
to make life easier for everyone.

I used to believe in love as 
the strongest antidote for ailments 
of any kind, but now … I am certain 
we need this world to shift in 
an entirely different direction if 
we have any chance of surviving.

This cruel world hammers away 
at the beauty of love. 
It grinds it down to dust and 
sprinkles it over our wounds. 
It wants to see us fade away — never 
to be heard from again.

When a nation can silence a woman, 
shoot and kill innocent children, 
brutally beat people of color 
into submission, and oppose 
legitimate elections, we have 
lost all sure footing.

And love stands patiently in 
the shadows waiting for us 
to reel in our senses.

I wake up with three strikes 
against me every morning; 
I’m Black, a woman, and bisexual. 
Before I take my first sip of coffee, 
or walk my dog or relieve the 
pressure my sinuses issue 
daily, I am a prisoner 
of a wrathful world.

This shouldn’t be, and we know it.


©2022 Tremaine L. Loadholt

I was invited by the July guest editor for SETU Magazine, Candice Louisa DaQuin, to write a poem for its theme of “Colours of Love and Barriers”, and the above is what came to me. I am honored to see this piece live in SETU Magazine, published on Saturday, August 06, 2022. Thank you for reading.