Tuesday, June 7, 2011

From where I stand

Itoro Udofia is an artist and writer living in Amherst, MA. Currently, she is attending graduate school to study social justice and education. Her work focuses primarily on the African Diaspora, black womanhood, identity, solidarity, and love. She hopes to continue using art as a tool for social justice. 

You are defined as delicate

Fragile

Needing comfort

Safety

Respect

The lines of work

Labor

Pain

Survival

This does not show on your face like they show on those who live outside the margins

You remain unmarked

Mush-faced

As you sit there

Demanding

Comfort

From the world

Admiration

Relief

Praise

You ask for us

To not challenge

To keep you clean

Pure

Coddled

White

While we turn calloused

Marked

Resilient

You remain fragile

When you look at us

Are you not ashamed?

Condescending?

Scathing?

Wretched?

To only love something unless you pity

Unless you’re guilty

Unless cloaked in authority

Really

Does this make you feel

Unafraid?

We are expected

To love

Unfailingly

No matter the cost

I am told

Love.

No matter the searing of spirit

I am told

Love!

For the world

Because you ruin it

So I love with an unyielding fury inside

I love you

To keep myself alive

I. Love. You.

While you resist

And remain

Unsullied

We wait

You remain

Unsullied

We wait

You deny

You ignore

You forget

That there were some who chose

Who gave up

Who tried

Who risked

Who stood

Who died

You

You

You

You would rather be unsullied

Well now

You remain unsullied

Untouched

unsullied

YOU!

Expect me to become occupied with your concerns

While I must swallow all of mine