it does not matter what you bleed, ink or love or tears or color,

so long as you bleed to stay alive -

henrietta lacks lay crumpled on her hospital bed like wastebasket paper gasping for her last breath as cancer ate away at her,

decayed her body, but her cells lived forever.

those who are dead are only textbook names to be impressed by,

but they had ashes to leave behind

and so do you.

textbooks do not show the forests of blood and bone and scars,

except for theatre,

but touch the page and it will tingle beneath your