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COLOR

This was the second piece I read in New Mexico. I wrote this a few summers ago while going through a lot of mini transformations, while also coming to realize certain things about how I grew up being a woman of color in a lot of white spaces and communities. I always named myself "different", and prided myself on not following the crowd or trying to fit in. But, subconsciously, I was always trying to feel and be included with my peers. I never wanted to be too "loud" or out there, so I never spoke up. I straddled the line of wanting to be noticed or seen, but simultaneously wanting to be invisible and under the radar. I never allowed my voice, my body, my being, to take up space. Of course, it is an on going path of un-learning and re-learning all of the things that colonization and society spit at me. But with each poem I write, each room I enter as my true self, each moment I allow myself to be loud and take up space, it changes, and I expand.



In a world that wouldn’t stop to look for

me if I went missing…I’ll walk

In a world that values white over brown

or white over black…I’ll color

In a world where I have to speak volumes

higher to be heard or seen…I’ll sing

While I’m still in this realm, I’ll keep my head to the skies

I’ve been known to slink away from anything that showed I have any power,

I preferred the solace of my shadow

Never wanting to appear “extra” or display my soul

I dimmed the light that radiates from my ancestors to

quietly walk with my head down

If I didn’t make eye contact, they’d never see the disguise

But, the world needs to know now, I radiate beauty

It waits for me before me, it follows behind me, it shines

above me and it grows below me

I’m not fearful to walk, as I know I’m never alone

I’m not fearful to be colorful, to love the skin I’m in

I’m not fearful to use my voice, knowing I can turn it on or off

as I please

I no longer fear that I am too much…

I think…no, I know,

this world needs a little extra of my color

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