Sunday, March 2, 2014

for Renisha McBride

For Renisha McBride..

I hope your name makes noise
Speaks loud and bold
Brave and clear
For every name like yours

Your name the one
That they make fun of
Call ghetto
And say will never allow you to
Get a job

We want you to be the lip popping
Gum smacking
Goddess you are
Or the only one we will allow you to be
In our memory

The one that we suit wearing
Professional house ladies
Detest because you remind us
That even we are disposable in all our upward mobility glory

We want to remember your name
Make it mean more
Than bullets to the brain
And front porches

We want every black girl body
To carry weight
Speak volumes
Make noise
Be loud
We want it to be more than just a whisper

For once in history
We want to tell the story on
Our own terms
Share our pain
Our grief
Be more than footnotes in black male profiles
And end notes in white women sympathy

We want every syllable to
Choke the speaker’s throat
Take up more space than commonly
Be fully human
For once can we shame
Big Mama’s steady strength with
A moment of weakness?
Can we love ourselves?
Can we stop pretending?
Can we love each other
Enough to say enough?

Can we have a collective moment in space?
A time for us
A time for you

We are because you are..

Re- Nisha

I want to say your name so
I don’t forget my own
I want to say your name
So I can love my own

Not just another name
Not just another black girl body
Not just another girl child
Whose life isn’t worth anything?
To not only white men
But black men
And other black woman bodies

We have been taught our lives
Are disposable
So we don’t value each other

Let us call you name
Like children of the dusk
Calling for the sun
Let us call your name like
Stars calling for the moon
Like trying be whole
When you’re told your half

And I can’t seem to shake the feeling
That you need your name
Known for more
Than wide lips
And car accidents
For more than being on the wrong porch
For more than Detroit

Along with the others
Sarah Bartman

Let us call your name
With those women
Who have been strange fruit

Jeenie Steers
Laura Nelson
Bertha Lowman
Mary Conley

Or ones who have died
Slow deaths on other trees

Shirley Sherrod
Anita Hill
Rachel jeantel


Welfare Queen

Like Baby Mama

Let us call your name

Renisha McBride
So we don’t forget our own
So we don’t choke
On our own voices
And think that
We are not already