You lean back into me.
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You lean back into me.
Editor's note: Aditi T. requested that we not use her last name due to how it represents her caste. She has both upper and lower caste heritage, which is not reflected in her last name.
Maybe it’s the way
Baby, hear me.
There are places that we went
I might burst.
Editor's Note: Alicia Harmon is a junior with an interdepartmental major in sociology and African-American Diaspora Studies.
I don’t want no daughter,
I ain’t like the other kids. I do my school work, I stay quiet, I follow directions. And right now, the direction is left. We turn left when we get to the end of the hallway to circle back to the other end. And then we repeat, turning left again. We’ve been doing this for ten minutes straight, because our line to and from the bathroom break was loud and crooked. People keep muttering under their breath, sighing loudly, slapping their feet down hard on the tile floors, and straying from the line just a little too much. Titus has stopped walking entirely. He’s leaned on the wall near the water fountain with his back to us and keeps repeating “I don’t care” as Mrs. Fries - pronounced freeze for whatever reason - keeps telling Titus that everyone will keep walking until he gets back in line. We become this circling brown wheel at least once a week since the teachers don’t allow us to go anywhere individually anymore. Hall passes allowed too many disruptions, too much time to be wasted, too much sneaking around to do other things.
“Zemira, clean the dishes,” Zora says, looking hard at me. My older sister leans against the dingy white counter holding a drying towel in her hand. Rushing me knowing good and well that she has the easy job of drying and putting away dishes while I have to wash and rinse.
Content warning: This poem includes descriptions of sexual violence.
It’s long past time to learn about the Chicago headquarters of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party — even more so since it’s Black History Month. Last summer’s Black Lives Matter movement caused increased allyship and exposed the need for performative allyship to stop.
Part the Clouds
Mama doesn’t trust her. That, Jade knows clearly. Or maybe it’s better to say that Mama trusts no one but herself to do right. Jade will have to be disobedient to her. She’ll go sweat in the sun, be blinded by a cloudless sky, stare down lines of officers, try to breath steady as her heart beats so fast it might trip over itself, lose its rhythm. She’ll fall out like a woman in church, overwhelmed after stomping away the demons.
Strike me with lightning.