But I Am Not Those Things: A Poem

Braided into the warm-air hum of half-dried t-shirts

Is the broken-rhythm scraping of metal on metal

Cyclical

Synchronous

The sound of safety pins

Pinned on shirts

Scarlet-lettered solidarity

Because I am not ‘those things’

 

There is nothing that makes me feel more human

Than the sound of applause from my sophomores

At the moment I finish reading a Hughes poem

The sound of flesh on flesh

Upon the cease of breath

As if his words were mine

As if he was I

But I am not those things

 

Rally cries of

If it’s not intersectional, it’s not feminism

If it’s not intersectional, it’s patriarchal

If it’s not intersectional, it’s white supremacist

If it’s not intersectional, it is ‘those things’

But they are not.

 

When culpability comes to bear

When our eyes meet theirs

Suddenly

They aren’t those things

 

There is so much talk of what we aren’t

Without question of what we are

 

Because though we may say we are not ‘those things’

Those things

Do not

Cannot

Exist.

 

Without ‘we’

 

Photo courtesy of Andi Jetaime, Flickr Creative Commons

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One response to “But I Am Not Those Things: A Poem

  1. Dear Sarah, You are awesome! This poem and your last writing have been so special that I want to save all of your thoughts & think about them a lot. I ran across a picture of you taken 10/07 in school. You are in jeans holding a soccer ball – short hair – made me smile, for a few reasons! This will be a big week for Laura – I’m praying it’s good news. It’s great that she will be with you & Kate over Thanksgiving. She needs a breather from it all & I suspect the three of you will have a blast! Have a wonderful time & eat as much as you like – it’s allowed. Love to you & Kate, Grandma

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