Do you love me, he said

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you sat next to me

me and you

less than arm’s length away

I, I felt like you and I

were planets away

light years from each other

Do you love me, you said

i said yes

quickly

like sun burning skin in summer

your broken smile said

you are lying

we sat there

like two distant lovers

your hands reached for mines

my fingers crawled lazily to yours

how strange it felt

lonely am i

my tears, the coldness of your hands

sliced the silence of that night

my dear, what is wrong, you say

i turned away

to feel hunger rip through my body

to only respond

because my dear you are a distant stranger

not a lover

Healer’s Edition: Vanessa Marco on Colorism

Vanessa Marco, a poet of sorts, is powerful and intense in her delivery of poetry. Her poem over the topic of colorism is very important because it brings up the issue of white-supremacy. Colorism is the concept that usually applies to people of color. Colorism speaks on the white-supremacist’s notion of ideal beauty. The lighter you are than the closer you are to whiteness and ideal beauty.

In my years growing up, I can remember Black girls telling me how lucky I was to be light-skinned. Some of my Black peers would gaze upon my skin and offer me privilege not afforded to those that were darker than me. Unfortunately, I would encounter the question of “am I Black enough?” or even Black at all. My racial-classification was always in question. It became a guessing game. In some circles, I am still treated as if I do not belong. In past experiences, I would be treated as an outcast among White peers because I was not White. I was still Black despite my complexion.

In this messy game of ‘who am i,’ I got to the point of finally understanding that this was white-supremacy. My body was gazed upon through the lens of white-supremacy. I was either given or denied space, according to those in power in a particular environment. In countries all across the world, people of color are constantly fighting to have space. Space. Either denied or given. However, I am tired of this game. I am tired of having to deal with myself through the lens of white-supremacy.

In this rite of passaage, I write. I resist. I refuse to be categorized, marginalized, denied or approved of due to my skin-tone.

i will love her after my leaving

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i will love her after my leaving
sip on cups of her words at my need for guidance
she lives within the parts of me too hidden to be shown to others

i will love her after my leaving
her brown skin and most beloved hidden smile beneath the pain intrigues me
she told me to come back

i will love her after my leaving
dance fiercely in my woman-ness in an unforgiving manner
she told me that there is magic in my soul

i will love her after my leaving
that my body is more than a man’s resting stop
she told me that i must care for myself tenderly, intentionally and deliberately

i will love her after my leaving
the way she held my heart after the pain
she told me that not everyone deserves the love that i give out

i will love her after my leaving
tracing my way back to her, back to her, her coming back to me, me going back to her
she told me that love creates space, that love creates a way, that love is ever giving

i will love her after my leaving
she held me in her arms, so tenderly, the way that mama hugs me
“dont you ever go too far. you know where i’m at”

i will love her after my leaving
her hands outstretched like roots, a horizon in the distance, telling me that i must never forget where warmth is
“remember i am here. always waiting for you. to hear your story. to see you in your greatness.”