I wrote this poem in my least favorite mood: edginess. My creativity stalls why it runs into thorny patches, but I opened up, and this is what came out.
Why is it not enough to simply write as a womyn of color?
Why does it change once I write of color after womyn?
like its merits decrease
or its potential increases
I’m brilliant cuz I’m brilliant
not cuz of the sheen of my hair.
I am why.
Why the echo
when say I womyn
so very fine
and I write from the insides
and I say,
it’s not too much
nor not enough
I am a womyn
owning up to my race
the internalized inferiority
the internalized superiority
Skins me alive everyday
And you ask
“Why you so mad?”
because I can’t say my own damn truth without
“Women of color”
world goes YAWN.
and shirks, What else is new?
I’ll tell you what’s new
We the “Women of Color” you love to ignore then agitate for your leisure
are tilling into deep magenta brown soil you never seen
and our tongues,
pink and blistering,
cool and wide,
are sipping honey from sweeter, higher
than your neck can strain
And the “Women of Color” writers
that you flick off with your shoes
are reading aloud to towns and towns
with cackling and krumping to music
for you to hear
So spit your questions onto each other
and not at me.
I’m busy with other things.
I’m angry, but I’m a lot of other things too.
Do you need to know all of who I am before you believe me?
Do you even want to know who I am at all?
That’s your question, not mine.
Cuz I know you.
I know you from those glossy cover history books my short arms had to carry home.
I know you from the holidays we gotta jump jump up and down for
I know you from the whys and cries and jiggly thighs you write about so much and call Women’s Issues
I know you from the realtor and the delivery boy
I know you
Do you know me?
I think your books are shallow.
I think that you are not capable of deepening work that contributes to anti-racist feminism.
I think your books are flat out flat and, yes,
I have read them
And your tired Who Me? Poor Me? Love ME!
sounds like that ol’ record my Pops used to play
every Sunday morning at 8
after a while, I stopped listening
and slept with peace
Why’s it not enough to say
No Me No Like Your Stuff
without being asked for my resume
and literacy skills score
Instead of quarreling over the responses
why not analyze the question first
and look at the cornering, stereotyping, sabotaging, limiting, narrow scope
of your own questions
Let’s look at the contaminated wood
of the house before you
kick out the guests who are
dying from the air
And before you wonder why your branches
are being cut;
remember that the land your roots settle
From the beginning,
the wrong story was told.
‘Bakit’ is Tagalog for ‘Why?’