Echoes off the tops of our lungs with undeniable ease. Friends. Like random hellos, or a courtesy goodbye. Like a sporadic gesture among the land of foreigners, friends too has become a strange language; its value in a strange land as it falls off the edges of our tongues. Words have no meaning for many of us. They race from underneath the spaces of our hearts to descend empty into the air. To land idly among the elements, or on the tops of buildings and of trees. After all, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” We chant this saying from infancy to adulthood, carrying perception on our shoulders like truth. Meanwhile, words will go on to hurt and heal, afflict and inspire. Friends. Technology says we can find them on Facebook. Fly away with them on Twitter and update relationships instantly. Though I’ve never known a friendship to be built so fast. What kind of lessons do we learn in a world that laughs at murder because words after all have no meaning, so “I hate you” doesn’t mean that I might as well have killed you. Friends. There is no greater person than one who is willing to lay down his life for his friend and yet, the word leaps as it wills off the edges of our tongues. Such a light hearted fantasy. Everyone is a friend today, though not everyone is willing to die for you. Friends. So often do we fill it with air and toss it around among our peers; an enslaved basketball among the bars of netted string is this word. Nothing more than a one syllable title we release into the air to become captive to whatever it wills. But what does it truly mean to be a friend?
I write Black Historical Fiction, and Soulful Poetry for the freedom of all people. Visit me on the web at yecheilyahysrayl.com/ View all posts by Yecheilyah