Behind iron oxidized bars

Behind shackles smeared with blood,

My Warrior/ Queen Protea

gets ready to burn from the ashes

soar high above a man-made cell

breaking toxic bonds

for this ain’t no symbiotic relationship

between a host cell and her bacteria,

This is a struggle.

A daily struggle where white

defines Black/ and a forced exile

lost connection to her homeland

is a mere storyline

told by the flare of a match

set off by bullets to her aposematic skin.

No resistance/ Queen Protea


She listens to her breath

abolishing (hard) sentences

ankles untied/ Afro/ her halo

Each follicle/ A soul marching to the frontline

ignites into a crimson funeral pyre

burning the hands of narcotic dealers,

government given guns, trapped doors

withholding medicine from our healers

burning until we all chant––

Black and Breathing.

Black and Breathing.

Black And Breathing.

Thea Matthews is a BlXicana womxn feminist, born and raised in San Francisco, CA. She is a spoken word artist, survivor of sexual violence; and she often refers to herself as a poetivist (poet + activist). She has a WordPress ( and a SoundCloud (

#TheaMatthews #poetry