Tell Them (the song all of me sings) by Meghan K. Strapec

When I alight on a wing dimly lit,
             shadows and slack faces,
             ushers to the places where I am only
             inked letters on a page.
Tell them days later,
             naysayers, spectators,
             that my nuance played better off the stage.

Tell them the death sentence wasn’t fatal,
             that I battled and railed,
             rallied then sailed on a ship headed for free
             waters long sustaining.
Hope unaccounted,
             defense to be mounted
             against the apportioned days remaining.

Tell them my heartbeat was diaphanous,
             made of light-threaded wisps,
             each contraction a kiss meant for the ones who
             beckon me toward fam’ly graves.
Ancestors crying,
             mendacity vying,
             knowing full well that Jesus doesn’t save.

Tell them my soul stayed fast, firmly planted,
             though often reticent,
             scared to take up residence in your halls where
             pain lives for its release.
Foisted on the next
             under fig-leaf pretext
             that the bringing forth leads to psychic peace.

Tell them my breath flowed intentionally,
             peaks of inspiration,
             based on the predication calm will assuage
             restless ghosts of our past.
A history haunted,
             leaving outsiders daunted
             til ragged expiration comes at last.

Tell them my thoughts were damnable blessings,
             burdens worth the bearing,
             though oft left despairing in cursed empathy
             for the lost and well-worn.
Spinning out alone,
             begging you, please atone
             for crimes perpetrated against the torn.

I’m aware I wasn’t what they wanted;
             still, I refuse to take the fall.
I’ll alight on this wing,
             my own song to sing,
             til darkness makes its call.

Meghan K. Strapec is a born-and-raised Metro Detroiter and current Bostonian. She spends her days reading, staying hydrated, petting an incredibly soft bunny, and, of course, writing. Her work can be found in The Sierra Nevada Review, Gravitas, and The Esthetic Apostle.