It don’t have to hurt if

I stay in here with my thoughts and with

My mind because sometimes

I rather spend time with them because

Sometimes it hurts too much on the outside

It hurts so bad when reality hits me

It hurts and I

I lie and

I say “I’m fine, I’m fine” but the truth is

There’s a very thin line between the lie I tell and the tears and the fears that lie on the inside

It don’t have to hurt if I stay in here

If I stay clear of the news and the television and

If I don’t hear about more Black children gone missin or

No longer livin

If I don’t have to let my cup drain dry from the alibis of people always gettin and never really givin then

Maybe it won’t hurt

If I stay in here I don’t have to be misunderstood and if I stay in here

I could get to know me better because

In here she doesn’t have to be censored or assimilated or inundated with masks or with doubt

In here I could really learn what she’s really all about

Too loud, too dark, too I-don’t-really-look-the-part out there but in here

the part is all mine

And the time is my time, because sometimes there ain’t no time for me on the outside

All the while I reclaim my time while the outside still has the nerve to still say it still ain’t all mine

Corporations make money off the sick

While we all chokin’ out here on air that’s too thick while they tell us that

Global warming “doesn’t really exist” and

We all play the part, but the lies

They really don’t stick

It’s sick

But as the ways of the world smolder outside my door

I look over my shoulder and turn my back to the fire

It’s far too much to bare

It don’t have to hurt

So until the smoke clears

I’ll be in here