Resistance: A Poem

I simply do not write poems anymore, but for some reason, these last few days have been getting to me, and the only way I can process the tragedy and pain over the course of the week is to write. 

 

For Alton, for Philando, for them all, for the many who survive to witness the violence against black bodies...

Be everything you were meant to be

Before the world put its mark on you

 

Be the one who laughs the loudest,

Teeth shining, unashamed

Laugh in their faces, all of them

Be the joke teller, the joke lover

Feel the laughter from your belly and expel it like a gift

 

Be the one who sings songs like a child in the choir

Excited by the sound of your own voice

Sway so boldly you lose rhythm
Sing the songs only you want to sing

Repeat them, belt them, write them down

 

Be the one who dances

Be at the center when you do

Let them see you move with joy and feeling

Dance until your feet scream, till sweat glides down your face

Let them envy you

 

Be the best lover for yourself

Enjoy yourself every time you see her

Hug her, kiss her, and tell her she’s beautiful

Sit with her quietly on a dusty porch

Braid her hair and tell her secrets

 

Be the one who speaks the clearest

Speak with confidence and do not falter

Be the code merger and do not switch

Use as many big words as you would like

And use the smaller, silly ones too

 

Be part of neither this world nor that

Be above them both like the star you are

Exist in one piece with all of your might

Be the one who reflects the sun, and the moon

Claim the universe as your own.

 

Be the earth beneath your feet

Be and love the roots of the trees

Feel feelings, even pain

But when you feel, feel completely, genuinely

Without fear of attack or expectation of praise

 

Be without the stain of the world that taught you fear

Wash it off, scrub, reject

Be big, for there is no such thing as too big a spirit

Don’t let them tell you that you were made to be small.