Thirty-Five
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The life expectancy of a Black trans woman in the USA is just 35. This is a villanelle about that shocking statistic.

Black boys grown women fighting to survive
In freedom's land are some folks not allowed
To live beyond the age of thirty-five?

Dysphoria and prejudice connive
From gender manacles to funeral shroud
Black boys grown women fighting to survive

Must humans hide or lie to stay alive?
Does Pride now mean our sisters must be proud
Of living past the age of thirty-five?

What torment, hatred, bigotry will drive
Her own hand, or her killer's, baying crowd
Black boys grown women fighting to survive

Conformity proves lethal and deprives
Its deviants whose rights are disavowed
Of life beyond the age of thirty-five

So make the change, the equal dream revive
Go tell the world the truth and say it loud
Black boys grown women fighting to survive
To live beyond the age of thirty-five