we were never granted permission to be young.


i found a watch and some liquor in the backseat

we was already guilty

when we found the keys 

even in the bright of day

sun stealing glow off


near the high school downtown

close to the bars and the

bus line 

our melanin catching light too 


and we was still dead wrong

for taking that shit 


y’all know :

what we look like 


history should know by now :

what was taken from us 


the national narrative knows :

how to say 

we were never granted permission

to be young. 


Z is a Black, transMasculine, disabled, queer femmeBoi from New Haven, CT who enjoys eating ginger, strolling through snowy winters and smoking organic herbal blends through a wooden pipe like a Grandpa. Catch more of their work at ZBell12193.wixsite.com/ZBellPoetry. Also catch them on IG as @QueerChaosBear.