poetry

A Poem For Wounded Relationships

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I wrote this poem without any intention of making this public. However, in the last couple of days, I have received hundreds of emails from people who watched Closure on Netflix and felt inspired not only to write me, but to mend personal relationships that had previously been estranged. I hope this poem can serve as a response to your messages and as further fodder for positive reform.

THE BRIDGE

As I walk with my phone on airplane-mode

Uninterrupted by calls or texts

One song repeats, as my mind retreats

Into a fury of questions and hope



I wonder if The Bridge is strong enough

to hold my joys and your fears

Will his melanin and your lack thereof 

impact the color of our tears?



I've come to find beauty amidst the wondering

to embrace my partial truth

Your silence has demanded that I become content

with the unknowns about my youth



Here we stand at opposite sides

ready to venture across

You bring your frustration and I'll bring my pain

Together we can relinquish these thoughts.



Without this meeting our song would sound different.

incomplete and empty, one-sided, not strong.

Without this attempt we’d stay disconnected

Cut off, detached, all wrong.



It is only through our mutual pain

and the trust hidden underneath our skin

That we can we truly respect ourselves enough

To face the truth within.



You think yourself to be so esoteric

so abstract, so strange, so rare.

we are actually way more alike than dissimilar

We both know alienation, trepidation and despair



The Bridge is our connection point

I hope you’ll meet me halfway

Let’s set aside the classism,

Let’s mend our gaps today.



We all experience dissonance in our lives. Times when we feel so disconnected from those for whom we care for so deeply. One key towards a healthier world is to strengthen relationships. Cross The Bridge.

Dear Writers, Listeners, and Writers Who Do Not Listen. Guest Post by Diku Rogers

This poem is exquisite in its beauty, and poignant in its words. I've chosen to share her voice on my platform as our society continues to grapple with what it means to be privileged, what it means to have privileges and how to reconcile that within yourself so as not to feel ashamed for being born in to a society that overtly values or devalues you, nor to be ignorant of this same point. I can especially empathize with Diku's frustration around spellcheck not recognizing the word microagressions, as I have often wanted to punch my computer screen for giving the red squiggly line under the word, "adoptee" -- what a clear example of one way adoptees feel that our very being is less than.  

Dear Writers, Listeners, and Writers who do not Listen

This piece was originally published at Soar. Diku Rogers is a junior in college from Brooklyn, New York. 

My poetry makes you uncomfortable My stories do not make sense to you My characters are not “relatable” So, like many have said before me, Please take several seats.

Your privilege will not show up on my pages. It is not my fault that the reality of my reality Is a universe you can never imagine The sh*t that goes down for me Goes right over your head You search through my words Like they are broken mirrors Looking for some resemblance of yourself You will not find yourself here. You will not find yourself in the dropping of my “g’s” Or my metaphors of city streets and Caribbean eats You will not find yourself In my similes of browns and blacks You will not find yourself In my harsh tone I have no atonement For your inability to empathize.

Stop trying to gentrify my stories They do not need more characters YOU can relate to. They do not need more characters that look like you. Go look in your English classes, History textbooks, dining halls and dormitories. I will not twist my words to appease you. My characters are already oppressed by the pages they are confined to. Every narrative does not have your voice. Deal with it.

How quick you are to praise The story of a “typical” college kid But notice how quick you judge The microaggressions faced by a little black girl. As I type this a red line appears under the word “microagression” I mean Microsoft Word doesn’t even know what the f*ck I’m talking about.

Dear Writers, Listeners, Writers who do not listen You wanna kick it with Raymond Carver but can’t take Audre Lorde out on a date. You’re afraid to sit with James Baldwin at lunch but you run to stand in line next to Bukowski.

Writers, Listeners, Writers who do not listen You amaze me Tell me what it’s like To pick up your pen And not have it bleed to death With ink that’s black like me Now before you tell me how hard it’d be To write with a white pen Have you ever heard of invisible ink? It’s written all over your face Signed on all your credit card receipts It’s used in court rooms And classrooms Which are sometimes the same thing Because while you cast judgement I am tired of being trialed I am tired of shining My black light on your invisible writing Trying to make you see the words You don’t have to say

Your privilege will not show up on my pages. And I am trying to get published So realize you will not find yourself in my words. Cause I had to realize- a long time ago- that I wasn’t going to find mine in yours.