Not Fine, Just Normal

Last night, as I killed a bug in my apartment, I began to wonder if I will forever see dead black things as harrowing symbols. I wrote this poem on Twitter:

at midnight / I crushed a beetle / with an ash black shoe / its body curled and snapped / stiff shell mangled / on the sole / at my fingers / at midnight / I saw another / a soul / coated black like mine / snapping / snatched

I fell asleep wondering who might be next.

And today, as I meticulously tied my hair into a head wrap, a beautiful printed blue scarf from my time in Venice, I couldn’t help but think that someone somewhere outside the walls of my apartment would not think it beautiful, but vile.

Tonight, after my Race and Communication class that was full of gripping discussions on intersectionality and colorblindness, I walked home, like I usually do, looking forward to my designated 30 minutes of debriefing by way of poetry writing.

I was careful to triple check for cars at intersections, because you never know when people might blame dark skin. I held my breath as a truck roared by, its confederate flag sticker barely visible in the night, its American flag slapping the cool air.

Two minutes later, from a nondescript car, a man screamed, “WHITE POWER!” as he passed me. And because I had not been holding my breath as I had for the truck, because I had been thinking of ice cream or poetry or perhaps my bed, for a second, I lost my breath when a familiar pang of anger and outrage jolted through my stomach.

The rest of the walk home, my heart hammered. I told myself: This is not fine, but it is normal. I asked myself: You had been expecting it, right?

5 Replies to “Not Fine, Just Normal”

  1. Such a sad and sick world we live in. Such sad and sick people. Such sad and sick rules and regulations. Such sad and sick so called freedoms. I am praying for your safety my niece. Continue to walk where God has placed you and gain value experiences that will be used to further you in education and literature. I love you and thank you for these articles. You are an awesome kind soul

  2. I am so sorry from the bottom of my heart.
    So sorry that some feel this is acceptable.
    So sorry that our society is filled with idiots.
    Would this person not accept your blood to save their child’s life? I hope they are never put into that situation, but maybe they should think about it. Aren’t we all the same? I think so, I know God thinks so.

  3. I am so sorry you are having these terrible experiences! It is sad all people can’t or won’t walk in love. Our society has many problems and the biggest one , in my opinion, is a SIN problem. I am praying for you young lady, that God has his hand on you to keep you from all harm! In The name of Jesus!🙏🏼

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