Seeing In Color


You say you see no color in this world
that you see no difference
no difference?
difference is what brings beauty into our world
where we learn from
rituals, movement, ways of thinking, words of beauty
difference brings shared wisdom, a shared culture
difference expands our vision beyond
the horizon of our view, our understanding
that there is something more

It is like a reverberation in her body
there is so much to say all at once
that the words get clogged
at the edges of the moment
all wanting space to speak
and be heard
it is right here
right on her chest
weighing the body down
it is in her bones, the memories
right here
it lives in her body
the past
our story, our histories, our her-stories
four hundred , six hundred years
years and more years
every moment of every present day
it settles and settles
laying thick like dust
turned into mud, into clay
oppressed, pressed
taken down

They say we are all stardust
but not all stardust was a slave
not all stardust had its freedom taken away
from its heart
words, voice, meaning
the beauty of a culture
taken away
the words not good enough
not right, not worthy, less than
continue to float through
like a ghost haunting this waking life

You say
I can’t believe we are still here
I can’t believe it is this bad
your words dismiss and dismiss
there is fear
the history of the oppressor
lives in your body
just as much as the history of
the slave lives in hers

She feels it in her bones
it is like a vibration
it wants to be seen, acknowledged
held and released
wings wanting to open, to feel the air
to create movements of
beautiful murmurations in the sky
of togetherness, of weeping
to maybe reach the relief of grieving
that gives space for change
for transformation

The pain, the trauma gets passed
from generation to generation
the resilience, the strength, the courage
also gets passed on
like a blessing, that only magic creates
her magic
generation after generation
the magic continues to
spread like the sun blesses
the sky each morning with light
with beauty

But the trauma is unacknowledged
pushed aside, beat down, tortured
a healing is screaming to take place
it needs to take place
it needs to have a place
there is no other direction to go
or else we will all collapse

Dig deep, stand up
see and listen to the voices
that have not had space to speak
take a stand
the fear of the truth isn’t going
to save you from facing yourself
if you think you hide the truth
you don’t
when you look at her and see no difference
you are a part of the fear
a part of the problem
yes, a history of violence
it is real
violence, hate, is real
it lives

Do not dismiss but believe
believe in her truth
acknowledge her pain
to experience racism is like a burning
a burning of her heart
her soul on fire
the pain, it has no words
it just takes over

This isn’t a conversation up for debate
racism, being black isn’t a debate
that you have sitting at your privileged dinner
table at 7 p.m.
it isn’t a light conversation you
have with friends and a few beers
why don’t we just move on?
maybe if we could all just get along?
don’t come up with a solution that
makes you feel better
it is not about making you feel better

It is about creating change
creating equality and acknowledging a history
acknowledging the pain, the suffering
and taking action
stepping up
and being here

The sense she feels is frozen
under a layer of ice
fighting to find a crack to breathe through
to release, to breathe
it is like the butterfly who flies only
in the darkness of the early morning
where she feels the safest in space and time
where she just might
get a glimpse of what it is like to be free
but we know her beauty
her difference, her strength
is really only met
when she is in the light with her magic
her truth in the light
in the light of the sun
in the light of the moon
for all to see her