Some Days It Seems Like All We Can Do with Our Lives Is Lose Them

Poet Tessara Dudley speaks of vulnerability, the burden of being "not"--"we will know every word we speak is true/we will know every word counts for nothing."
Tessara Dudley
September 1, 2016

Some Days It Seems Like All We Can Do with Our Lives Is Lose Them

By Tessara Dudley

we wear Black skin in America
we know every moment spent outside
we are endangered
we are exposed
we carry the tension of looming threat tight in our chests
we feel peril prickle the backs of our necks
and we know
we are one traffic stop from an early grave
we know the news will say
we shouldn’t have resisted
we shouldn’t have struggled
we shouldn’t have worn our hoods up
we made the cops shoot
we came from broken homes
and we know
we will stand with our hands wide open
we will stand with our eyes wide open with our hearts wide open
we will stand with honest words on our lips
we will stand
we will know every word we speak is true
we will know every word counts for nothing
we know we are human
we know we are not allowed to be human
and we know
we will see the cops watching us
we will see you passing by
we will see you refusing to watch them watch us
we will plead with our eyes for your intervention
we will beg for your simple human recognition
we will think about Sandra Bland
we will think about Eric Garner
we will think about Oscar Grant, Aiyana Jones, Kendra James
we will think about our children
we will think about our partners parents cousins friends
we will feel the sun hot on our backs and the breeze blowing by
we will pray our mothers forgive us
and we will think:
I’m not getting in that car.

Tessara Dudley is a poet and activist making art at the intersection of working class Black queer femme disabled life. Her hobbies include studying history, fighting oppression, building safer communities, and knitting. Tessara can be found at http://tessaradudley.com

January 6, 2017