This week was a week of unfinished things. Unfinished conversations that we were sure we’d get back to. Unfinished emails that had made themselves comfortable in my “Drafts” folder until I evicted them this afternoon. Unfinished poems, the beginnings of which are sprinkled haphazardly into the notebook that I wrote about in my very first post.
Despite having characterized my week as ‘unfinished,’ I work continuously to remind myself that there’s a lot that I got done, too. I wrote a piece for my Spanish writing course, I transcribed a 45-minute interview that I conducted last week, I submitted pieces that I’d been working on for a really long time to a new Wellesley zine (more on that later!).
Amidst those aforementioned unfinished poems, I took a few lines and began to expand them. The resulting stanzas are what you will find below. As I type this introduction, I continue to hope that the fluid definition of poetry has room for my little stanzas. I even wrote a poem in Spanish! I don’t think I’ve ever done that before.
I hope you enjoy the three poems that I’ve selected to share with you this week.
- “mango memories” was largely inspired by a childhood best friend, whose happy memory is perpetually mango-flavored in my mind. Regardless of where life has taken us, we know that each of our names will forever occupy the other’s childhood memories. With this piece, I was working on using tangible and tactile words to describe intangible and abstract feelings. I figured a joyful childhood was a great place to start.
- “con la boca” is a poem that I thought just ‘sounds nice.’ It was inspired by my sweet roommate, Fiona, reminding me that some art is just made to sound nice. Not to follow any literary rules or to tell any particular story, but simply to be. And to be enjoyed.
- Finally, “it’s not a big deal” is a poem inspired by a conversation that I recently had with a white American friend about Afro-inspired hair styles being worn by non-black folks. I’ll admit that this is the least developed of the three poems, but I think that’s okay. I feel compelled to share my raw thoughts on the topic, sans curation. I think this is a piece I will likely expand later on.
As always, please let me know what you think.
sticky mango hands licked clean by sweet mango mouths.
green mango smiles ripen with recognition.
rotten mango words sour an argument, soon forgotten.
clean mango seed hands are happy to hold each other again.
con la boca
Creo que la boca es la mejor arma para enamorar. Con la boca,
Estos son los tres caminos a mi corazón.
I think the mouth is the most potent weapon for falling in love. With the mouth,
and gives kisses.
These are the three paths to my heart.
“it’s not a big deal”
Yeah, you’re right. It isn’t. We’re all crazy.
An entire continent is over reacting because the white collective has finally decided that dreads don’t rear discrimination. That my fro is no longer too big. That my ethic frizz now means ‘show biz.’
So go ahead. Stain the edges of your screens with black supporting characters. Keep telling yourselves that we haven’t always been the supporting characters in your nation. The foundations on which you proudly and obliviously stand.
Process your hair and give us a spin and with your cheeky grin please continue to tell me how you don’t understand why I had to fight to love the skin I’m in.
Call me self righteous with the rest of the right, and convince me that only the righteous will be saved
While maintaining that the right ‘us’ is really the white ‘us.’
So, yeah. It’s not a big deal. Keep telling yourself that, I guess.