12 Hours

[Trigger warning: homelessness, sexual assault, suicide, police brutality, and misogyny.]

I’ve never been homeless before.

I’ve always been poor.

When it comes to the many thin and transparent layers of poverty, every new day feels like a potential step in the right or wrong direction. I was raised by a single mother with a disability, gradually cast out over the years from a white middle-class family too deep in their nasty bias to financially and emotionally support a deaf woman and her biracial daughter. I’ve been on the cusp of prestige—occasionally visiting my grandparents’ gated beach-side community in my younger days and marveling at the borderline fantasy land at my disposal.

More familiar became the sting of poverty—living in trailers throughout junior high and moving to a new apartment every few years afterwards with the omnipresent hope that my mother’s Section 8 benefits wouldn’t dry up anytime soon…

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