I’m numb at this point
Literally, I can’t feel my joints.
My body is an empty vessel
My mind is absent – I’m tired of the hassle.
My heart aches when I am reminded
Of people who claim to be “colour-blinded”.
When another news story begins to circulate
Of a black trans-woman whose met an unfortunate fate
When people “hear” but don’t really listen
My smile loses its glisten.
I become a passenger in my own body
I’m tired of pretending to embody
The powerful black voice I wish to be – I no longer have the energy
I’m numb at this point,
I feel like I’m shouting into The Void.
I will die before people with privilege see what I see
So I’m done talking about it you know what I mean?
(Please read Renni Eddo-Lodge’s “Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race”)
Numb was first published in our 21st October 2019 Edition
‘Three Fifths Human’
Three fifths human,
Thrown off the ships by crewmen,
Disposed of, for their exposed bodies to decompose
Disregarded, discarded, and their bodies erode,
aside the sedimentary rocks on the seafront that show.
And I just had a depressive episode.
To conceive of this hatefulness bestows
on me an anxiety like no Other
And it just became aware to me I am the Other.
I touch the pain – every time it makes me insane
Although in vain:
As I am filled with appreciation to have “free reign” (or just to not exist during the Slave Trade.)
What is it to be free
Is this physical or mental?
Because I am not picking cotton, racism doesn’t exist?
Because there is a law against discrimination, “not everything is about race”?
People who are not like me will forever tell me what is and isn’t offensive
But how could they ever know
when sometimes I don’t even know.
When I am ‘well spoken’ for a black girl
When my name is exotic
When you grab my hair without consent
A casual manifestation of your racist intent.
Three fifths human
A system beneficial for the few men
at the top. They leave their indelible mark in our heads and in my heart.
They profit even though it hurts.
They profit because it hurts.
Three Fifths Human was first published in our 16th October 2018 Edition