This is 10-year-old Micheal's audition at Motown.
When he sang, it was the only time he could tell the truth and survive it. His songs always seemed to be about something else.
MJ was not only denied childhood, but his gender feeling, his sexuality— everything real about him had to be refuted.
All that repression ended up hurting a lot of people. The cash registers kept ringing and a family was cannibalized by its patriarch's violence.
I hear it in his gasps and sweet notes and spiraling toes— those leaps of freedom. A gift that reached out for transcendance, left the body behind— and floated right off the pain wall.