Blog 33 Litany-by-stainedpaper for Push
Image: “Litany” by Isobel Francisco, pencil on paper, 2012

“Most pleas from feminists of color to address racism in the movement are met with silence or hostility. If we aren’t ignored, we’re told that our complaints are ‘divisive,’ and that we should be focusing on the ‘real enemy.’

“Women of color are smart. We know when we are being used.” – Ijeoma Oluo


How do you kill paying homage

to the sinking feeling

to the place where you feel pushed
over the edge / to scream / but you

/ Push /

back against the push.

A terrible place for your heart to pound

/ Crumple /

your eyes to not squeeze tears.

/ Do /

the opposite of scream.

/ Bury /

it so deep that defeat is not an option.

You question so hard the dark places where
white women with a silver spoon in their mouth

can push a brown woman so deep
into what they feel is your place.

You are not to be in any place except inside the bones
of your fingers / your feet / even your tongue

planted firm like monoliths
even when the ropes are wrapped so tight

pulling your ribcage open
forcing your lungs to release a terrible scream

still / you refuse.

You tell yourself
I. Have. Had.

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