I Am Desensitized by Dianne Vasquez

I Am Desensitized by Dianne Vasquez

I am desensitized
I wonder how much poverty, violence and misery I can withstand
I hear gunshots, a kid crying out in pain because he’s getting his butt whooped
I see dirty old palm trees, trash all around and half-dressed women waiting to turn a quick buck
I want to leave this ‘hood,
but home is home
I am desensitized

I pretend that I don’t grow nervous when too many cars slowly pass by
I feel unsafe past 8pm; can’t even walk the block on my own
I worry that one day I will come back and everything will be gone
I am desensitized

I understand when people say try to make the best of any situation
But I say, “I live in South Central. What do you mean?”
I dream of moving away from danger, where I can be happy
I try to understand how things keep getting worse and worse
I hope to succeed in life but never forget where I’m from
I am desensitized

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