2019

“Containment” – Russ-Ahna Davenport

part i: confessions
I stay away because I’ll taint the white floor
with
blood,
With
shards and fear,
With
pain
Sky
fade to darkness
In
the darkness, I come alive
Because
I can’t scare away all the mortals
when
I whisper, when I write and writhe
I’m
uncomfortable in this skin
Not
because it’s brown or curved but it’s thin
And
it’s me
Oh,
invisibility
And
you see my love on my sleeve
Find
my wing, torn feathers,
One
lonesome wing only to pull me up
when
I fall down and to spread my essence
Only
flightless birds fall this hard,
run
this far,
feel
safe with my face in the carpet,
My
toes in the dirt,
My
red paint smeared on cheeks,
Seeing
it all red under the stars
Neon
signs and red stop signs
Oh
tell you, they sell you,
Oh
how they… unfurl you, no, close!
Oh
damn you,
Sleep.
Sleep
me away
I’ll
be alright … until sunrise

part
ii: compromises
Holding
on to the truth by my own broken feather
We
cut our teeth on shattered gemstones
And
bleed blood into letters
That
are never sent and forever unspoken
Forming
foreign words that are best left unopened
Chaining
souls to the guilt that they know they don’t own
Tie
a noose to her tongue, watch her drop like a stone
His
words will choke alone, alongside his drowning
In
an ocean of emotion echoing, resounding,
Bouncing
with no rhythm, flouncing over air
Still
waters still teaching them life isn’t fair
Waters
that torture- silent judgement of mind
Notice
the burn of unclean clarity blinding your eyes
Fade
to white, and wonder what is and isn’t right
If
you die, if I die, would it all be for light?
Sunlight
beam.
Driftwood.
Grab hold.
Pull
up. Fall up.
Look
up. Break mold.
Never
fold. Never fold.

If
I’ve always been benevolent
and
to the devil never sold,
If
I never meant malevolence
However,
I never left the cold
When
I always am alone,
When
I wander past the safety zone,
And
I try and I try and I try
Want
to sigh, want to hide, want to die,
What
is life?
If
we contain the pain inside,
Then
we cannot be held accountable
If
we remain sane outside,
Then,
the success is insurmountable,
Unavoidable,
irrevocable, ever-true
If
I die here with you,
I
live free of the guilt
My
self-maintenance has restrained my innocence
by
containing myself inside,
So
no one might suffer my vile bile
My
poisonous parasites,
Oh,
my self containment has maintained my innocence
Compromises
retain the truth
I
feel no consequence

part
iii: consequences
Fight
the fade or feel the fate

Constancy
Stagnancy
Ineducation
Breeding
violence, sorrow, death
Sowing
seasons of pain
Encouraging
hate
Changing
our faces
Changing
our names
Staining
the
same on the same on the same
Encouraged
and caused by
Difference
and shame
Fear
fells the lame
But
braving the whole world
And
berating the caving brethren beneath
And
disassociating shared humanity
We’re
killing ourselves
You’re
killing yourself
Just
for the highest shelf
Gather
dust until you die and rot from your stealth

Still
killing your health
You
are mute
Brainwashed
Fearing
mutiny
Cheering
stupidly
Aware
of a change in the air
They
dare to dupe you with
And
call it equality
Because
crying in your room quietly
Won’t
solve all your problems
They
won’t go away

They’ll
come back
Until
you expand these words
And
speak with gentle attack
Stacking
your odds
Against
their money stacks
Against
their sunny days
Because
running from the fray
Isn’t
running from today
Its
running in place

Your
sinking ship is still sinking
When
no one makes a sound
When
no one is around to say
You
shot the albatross down
Carry
your weight
Carry
your weight
Lift
it high
Admit
you made a mistake
They
made a mistake
We
made a mistake
And
we’ll never be the same
Promise,
we’ll never be the same

The
consequence of silence is suicide
The
pretense of emotional violence is cyanide
The
sorrow of these tears cuts you open
Wide
For
them to fill you with bitter salted lies
And
you won’t recognize
That
sugar and spice isn’t nice
You
need to be reminded
That
they despise the look in your eyes
In
that heightened moment before the moment subsides
That
tells all the truth there is, as it rises through your guise
Be
wise and don’t hide it
Ignite
it
Outcry
it
Deny
this
Action’s
validity, solidity
Solemnity
doesn’t acquit a thing
Don’t
rate how poorly they faked that it was okay
But
admit you made a mistake
They
made a mistake
We
made a mistake
Promise,
we’ll never be the same again

The
drag
Into
a crash
All
the singed salted sores
Breeding
sorrow, violence, death
Because
you’re a welcome mat
And
the door is open to the past
Whatever
passed shall pass again
Making
swipes at the same sin
And
when you refuse protest
You
always give in.

So
I stay away because I’ll taint the white floor
But,
perhaps, I should play with fire more
And
paint the place with my mistakes
Show
my face in the sun and stay
Accountability
is at stake and I want change
I
want to raid the blue sky and live both night and day
So
excuse my insolence as I forego my innocence
To
better regard more important things
Than
those whitewashed standards and those old ugly stains

Russ-Ahna Davenport is a first-year Computer Science and Creative Writing double-major. Previously, writing was not in her major(s). However, she sought creative outlets in her spare time and often found herself writing, drawing, playing music, etc. When she isn’t being a math, physics, or environmentalist geek, she’s probably writing something.

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