1. "Someone claimed we should use our skin as wallpaper knowing we couldn't win" (84)
Wallpaper is a metaphor for the invisibility of black bodies, while also acknowledging the hypervisibility that they face at inopportune times. Unlike a painted wall, wallpaper draws attention to itself only insofar as the person is not used to its presence.
2. "The past is a life sentence, a blunt instrument aimed at tomorrow" (84)
The narrator in this section is not sure whether she agrees with the above statement, but recognizes its impact upon the self. This brings the reader's attention back to the conflict between the historical self and the 'self-self'.
3. "...soon we are willing to live with dust in our eyes" (185)
Dust in an eye is a metaphor for both constant discomfort as well as impaired perception of the world as it is meant to be.