Bursting (Poem)


Lackadaisical laziness
I can feel the disonance all around

It’s all a diversion specifically intended
For me to ignore
And not speak about
How I feel
And how I’m feeling right now
Such as the seething anger I wake up
Filling every crevasse of my heart
Almost every part of me
Is soaked in it
And right now
Between holding back the tears
And extinguishing my own pride
I am overcome with bitterness

The angry Black woman
That’s the stereotype
The label that no one wants
But especially a woman of color
Especially one who’s Black
I mean
Why on earth would she?
Who wants to labeled as the one
Who’s always contentious
Looking for a fight
And one with whom
You can never have a peaceable
—conversation with

But the more I think about it…
Is being Black
And being angry
Really so bad?

Let’s talk about it for a second
Let’s discuss why that is
That she IS…
Tormented by the stipulations
That she cannot show remorse
Or pain
The world will think she’s too weak
She cannot show
That she IS…
“You’re bitter.”
“You’ve got heart issues.”
“You’ve got daddy issues.”
“You’ve got drama for days…!”

MY GOD…would that not make you
Just a tad bit upset?
Would not those things not make you
Feel some type of way?
They are certainly not the sort of stuff
To put a smile on your face
This I can assure
It hurts
And it hurts even more
To have to paint an ugly, yet radiant,
Smile on our face

I have had
To paint
An ugly and yet beautiful
Smile on my face
I bottle it all inside
The rage brewing deep within me
The urge to go off
On someone
Who lacks compassion
And understanding

Like when you tell them,
“Oh, I know I’m African American,
But I’ve never felt like an African American,
You know?
I am treated and made to feel
Like a second-class citizen
In my own home.
In my own home I am a foreigner,
And though I cheer on
The stars and stripes
On olympic game day,
When it’s all over
The fact remains
That I will constantly be told
To go back to Africa where I came from
By people
Who don’t even know where they
Because they’ve been here so long
They think they were the REAL
Native Americans.
I am an African American,
And yet…
I have never felt American enough.”

Or when you say things like,
“I know I’m Black,
But I don’t think my race agrees with me.
I’ve been labeled as other
By many of my own people
So many times
That I started cracking jokes
About this fair skin of mine.
Figured I’d beat them to the punch.
Might as well, right?
But then again,
I live in a country
Where someone thought
I HAD to be Mexican
Because how else could I have gotten
All those A’s in Spanish?”

And no…they weren’t Black…

And geeze…
Don’t ever tell them that you’ve
What life would’ve been like
Had you been born a different pigment
Or ethnicity…

They never understand…
Except for those who do.

And they’re not always people of
But Lord how I wish the numbers were

I’ll erase you and your culture
I’ll take away every trace of you
I’ll rewrite history
And I’ll make it seem
As though you never even existed
Because who said anything
About those chains?
I’ll get rid of your schools
The one’s historically built
To keep you out of ours

Just to protect
Our dirty, nasty little secret
I’ll eradicate everything that makes
And then I’ll proceed
To to TELL you who you are

You are nothing
You are worthless
Black, gummy tar
Worse than the black plague
You’re a plague and a disease
You’ve served your purpose
And you’ve been quite entertaining
But we don’t need you here
Go back to your own country
Where you belong

Oh yes…
I most certainly want to tell those
You first.”

There is a lot of hurt in this body of mine
There is a lot of brokenness inside

I am literally being cut alive
Sharp pieces slicing and dicing
And you want to tell me
That THAT makes me…a statistical,
Overly common human being?
No, a stigma and an eyesore
While I bleed out internally
Because according to the curse of
—this skin of mine
I am not even human
I am a mistake to you…

That’s fine
If you feel that way
My Word says
That God created everything
In this earth
That is nothing more
Than a temporary residence for me
And He created me
The way He made me
I am not a curse
I am beyond blessed
And I am a woman,
And I am Black,
And I am African American
And you know something…?

The more I think about it,
The more I’m fine with that

The things I have experienced
Living here
In the land of opportunities
Opportunities that my people
Have to fight for
Just to maintain the right
To have them
Those experiences have caused
Some resentment
They have made me strong
And in recognizing this
I can begin the process of healing
And letting go

I may feel like I’m not
“Really American”
And like this place I call home
Will never be my home
But then again
It was never my home anyway
This is not my final destination
My place is with my Lord and Savior
King Jesus
Who sits before the throne

Because even in the midst of the evil
That my eyes
And all the eyes before me
Have ever witnessed
We are still here
We are still breathing
Seasons come and they go
For a reason
And you believe in what you believe in

I will continue to hope
Because I am maybe Black and angry
An angry Black woman indeed
But I still have my faith
And the hope to know
And believe

Better things are coming
And with it
A better and powerful me

Get ready



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