micro aggressions are exhausting. having to deal with them is like running a long distance race; in the beginning you’re all psyched up & ready, you can take on anything, you can explain how braids work & the difference between plantain & banana. you even get used to being the go-to person on black matters (hip-hop, carnival, the carribbean/africa, bob marley, food seasoning, etc). but then you get to the middle of the race & find that on top of all that explaining you’re having to prove that you’re worthy of respect/life, that your work is good, that you deserve whatever good thing the white man has blessed you with. & by the end, you’re tired. too tired for any of it. your body sleeps & wakes up exhausted. the day becomes a burden that you can’t fake laugh through any more.
Do you know what they don’t prepare you for?
Dead work-place banter.
“Some words will never leave God’s mouth,
no matter how hard you listen.”
– Leaves & Blossoms Along the Way, Mary Oliver
Considering my next step & it’s frightening.
When I wrote ‘Lost & Found’ I did it as a filler for my final year project at uni. I needed to meet the word limit & give myself a diverse collection & a few short poems could take me there. When I submitted the collection to my publisher & the editor chose to focus on the ‘Lost & Found’ segments, i wrote more, again, as fillers. My point is, this particular set of poems were supposed to be nothing more than words to fill a space, talking just for talking sake, so I thought. I didn’t see the whole picture until someone made me focus on those poems alone – then i saw the love & the loss & the pain & the joy that they told. Now this collection has been chosen as the Poetry Book Society’s autumn pamphlet.
I proposed to her in the record shop near Satay bar.
I made them play ‘In a Sentimental Mood’,
And we danced in the scent of dust and age.