Catalyst

alley-graffiti-woman-scarf-dark

The author of this poem wants to distinguish herself as a non-Black woman of color and demands to make it very clear she does not wish to speak for the Black community, specifically Black women, further marginalize their voices, or falsely claim any of their experiences. This poem was born from a visceral place of anger and hurt stemming from the all too familiar reality of white folks feeling entitled to police people of color, in the many deplorable forms that takes. #blacklivesmatter

A poem in response to a white woman belittling my anger.

Sitting pretty
Lips crimson with the blood of her oppressed
Alabaster fingers fretting down her hair
She says to us

“Don’t be so angry, don’t let anger consume you. Anger is worthless.”

I stop
Look around
Does anyone hear her?
Does she hear herself?

How can we not let anger consume us?
Our voices

Silenced

Our country

Discounts us

Children

Slain

Rights

Obliterated

Institutions

Oppressive

We wake not to sunshine
But to bodies
Human beings….lives
Massacred on the dark asphalt
Skin to match

Strange Fruit* no longer hangs from trees
But lies violently, sadistically plucked
Beaten to the ground

Across front pages and blue screens

By the bloody, sullied hands of “protectors”

Genocide.

Yet you have the privileged pluck
To tell me
To tell the black and brown faces in front of you

Not to be mad?
Fuck you.

Fuck your complacency.
I will be mad.

Irate.

Livid.

Outraged.

Wrathful.

You claim to be an ally
An example for me to follow
Yet out of your pursed mouth
Comes vile
Putrid opinion

White feminism.

I want no part of you
I want no part in your
Contentment with

“The way things are”

You are but a drone, a sightless pretender
Equipped with nothing but

Snowy crocodile tears.

You buttress a system
That is slowly

Bleeding us barren

I hope your fortunate comfort
Turns wickedly desolate
Like the cities that burn
Like the people who starve
Like the land annihilated

In your own damn backyard

Go on with your petty-ass business
Hide behind your degree
And your capitalist, white-standards-of-beauty-worshipping job
I promise you
Without your trifles and trappings
They would kiss your feet no more

My promise to you
O unwitting, spineless one?

I will always be angry

I will use my personal inferno

To blister toxic norms

Watch as I scald your precious

Accepted realities

My tongue a dagger
My pen

A flint

To awaken the

Festering, foul fragments

Of my heavy contemplation 

Cogs like you will never understand

My fury is welcomed company
A collaborator to contribute change
A catalyst
A partner to help make it through

Without it?
I would be like you.
Sitting pretty.

And fucking comatose.

Heather-Chun-Guest-Contributor
Heather Chun : Just your average artichoke- eating, sun-worshipping, California-dreaming, adventure-seeking, burrito-loving, puppy-snuggling, forever-laughing, Korean, queer, intersectional feminist. I aspire to embrace queen Audre Lorde’s sentiment: “I am deliberate and afraid of nothing.” (It should also be noted I will absolutely not tolerate bullshit or khaki cargo shorts.)

*Homage to a song recorded by Billie Holiday in 1939, originally written in 1937 as a poem by Abel Meeropol.