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How Do You Name A Piece Like This?

Maybe You Don’t

Carvell Wallace
4 min readFeb 9, 2021

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My body holds traumas that go back further than I can remember and I can’t feel them. To not be able to feel them is, in fact, part of the trauma. See the thing about humans is that we want to live. We want to be alive, and together. We want to be safe and in love. We want to be whole and true. We want to be cared for. We want to laugh, be held close, be warm. We want to be together. These wants, I believe, are fundamental to being a human. We want to be able to feel — to feel ourselves and each other, to feel life and the heat of love.

Whatever denies us these things, these simple, life-giving things that we all want is a thing against life.

Our society, rather our shared life is teeming with things that are against life. That is the cruel and violent irony of being alive now, of being who we are where we are. That people can die of starvation in a society where there is enough food, that is a thing against life. That shelter costs money, and if you don’t make money for someone, then you can’t have shelter, that is a thing that is against life. That you must work a job for someone else in order to have healthcare for yourself or your loved ones, that is a thing against life. That my great-grandmother was born ten years after slavery “ended,” that her whole family had to work as share-croppers, including my grandfather born in 1902 whose only profession was laborer, who made $15 a year when he had four kids to feed, these are things against life. That when I was fifteen I watched the police beat an unarmed black man nearly unconscious, and the courts who saw the same thing determined that no wrong had been committed, that is against life. That I was homeless, hungry as a child, that children are molested and murdered, that people die in prisons during a pandemic, that is against life.

I could go on. I can’t go on.

while traveling I shot the sky on a starry night show with a long enough exposure for daylight to be found

How do you accept life in a life where so many things are against life? The answer is simple, of course. You learn to feel less. You learn to keep it moving. You learn to avoid your pain and the pain of others. You learn to say “niggas die every day, B” You learn to say “it is what it is.”

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Carvell Wallace

This is where I experiment. This is where I learn to write.