The pen pauses on paper, the words choked back like a sun dried-
raisin, rising in my minds eye reminding me that’s the only “black” poem I know
because that’s the only one that’s taught to me, like how I was taught to apologize
taught to appreciate condescending comments about my “eloquence” as if we, black
brothers didn’t invent the word flow deeper than the Nile and as wide as denial,
cuz I denied my heritage, a casualty of white guilt even though I’m not white
but I guess when you are casually called white long enough by white and black friends
you must bear the double burden of being hated for your color
and the fact that you speak proper and say ask instead of axe.
When you are both Romeo and Juliet in this tragedy that is America,
your facebook wall the scene of countless small wars between between you call friends
you learn to be quiet. Which is ironic because you never shut up
except you learn not to say much. How to chameleon your way through every conversation
how to choke down the bitter reality that if you speak up you won’t fit.
Won’t be black enough because you can understand white people’s frustrations
because not all of them are bad. Actually most of them are pretty cool once you get
to know them and in a lot of cases they don’t even know they are being racist.
But you also will never be white enough to make palatable to bring home,
or to be able to speak up about yourself without seeming angry.
So you shut up. Chameleon yourself like you were taught because if you blend
you can’t be hurt. So you laugh. Or ignore. Or just say something like smh.
And with each missed opportunity the DREAM is dying, a slow relentless death.
I am the one killing the dream. Not the awful depraved comment sections
or the rampant political ignorance. Me. With my unique perspective and voice.
I need to speak and stop blending. I need to be brave and step on toes.
This was supposed to be a poem but it turned into a terrible ramble.
But it’s honest. And real. And true. It’s me. Finally ready to speak and be heard.