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Hands by Ajani Levere, 281

Once one of us began to tighten our grip, a grip filled with a passionate anger, we were to have all of our grips loosened. It would be replaced with fear and hopelessness. Our barriers weakened from this drastic siphoning of courage. As a result, our power began to diminish. We began to uphold ourselves to the lowest levels they perceived us as.

I held out my hand with a reluctant gaze

Yet, it yelled at me as soon as I flashed my eyes upon it.

However, as much as I tried to silence it,

It remained.

I was ashamed to walk down the street

So I hid my hand in the darkness, I concealed it.

It was frightening, to attempt to resist, and reveal what they wanted me to hide for so long. To embrace all aspects of it haunted me. They all viewed my hand and all it was worth as an embarrassment, a detriment to my being; And so did I.

Everywhere I looked people who looked just like me had no hand.

My kind lived miserably but, we listened to those who forced their ideals.

Despite my people’s own morals, we were forced to live our lives with no hand, to join the pack, and do what was expected of you.

Yet those who forced their agenda laughed at us. They taunted us with ease, ridiculing what we were ashamed of. With no remorse whatsoever

I was hurt. Beyond hurt. I was angered. I was humiliated. Was there no solace to those who lived in a state of misery? To give up such a large part of themselves only to be a subject of laughter and ridicule? I could not. I would not ever be a part of a ritual that humiliated me so.

I quickly took my hand out of the darkness. I raised my arm to signal my defiance, expecting a substantial amount of resistance. Until I realized, my hand was missing

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