I’ve had enough
I’m sick of seeing and touching
Both sides of things
Sick of being the damn bridge for everybody

Can talk to anybody
Without me Right?

I explain my mother to my father my father to my little sister
My little sister to my brother my brother to the white feminists
The white feminists to the Black church folks the Black church folks
To the Ex-hippies the ex-hippies to the Black separatists the
Black separatists to the artists the artists to my friends’ parents…

I’ve got the explain myself
To everybody

I do more translating
Than the Gawdamn U.N.

Forget it
I’m sick of it

I’m sick of filling in your gaps

Sick of being your insurance against
The isolation of your self-imposed limitations
Sick of being the crazy at your holiday dinners
Sick of being the odd one at your Sunday Brunches
Sick of being the sole Black friend to 34 individual white people

Find another connection to the rest of the world
Find something else to make you legitimate
Find some other way to be political and hip

I will not be the bridge to your womanhood
Your manhood
Your human-ness

I’m sick of reminding you not to
Close off too tight for too long

I’m sick of mediating with your worst self
On behalf you your better selves

I am sick
Of having to remind you
To breathe
Before you suffocate
Your own fool self

Forget it
Stretch or drown
Evolve or die

The bridge I must be
Is the bridge to my own power
I must translate
My own fears
My own weaknesses

I must be the bridge to nowhere
But my true self
And then
I will be useful

The Bridge Poem by Donna Kate Rushin, from "This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color"  (via blackfeministmanifesto)

Do you remember the first
lightning bug
you accidentally killed?
How you squeezed it too hard
in your fist because
you wanted to keep it long enough
to show us?
No one knows what you did with
the light, or where your hand
has been since it happened,
but they’re all curious.

When did it get bad?
When did your voice turn into an
answering machine?
There’s a man at the door who wants
to save your soul. Says he’s been
looking for you,
that God sent him a message telling
him you needed his forgiveness.
The act. The circus of it all.
I’ll tell him to come back later.

Do you remember when you cracked
open by accident,
spilled your firefly sun all over my floor
like it was wine?
I do. I saw it. Proof that you
were still here,
glowing somewhere that you
forgot you could reach.

Tell me about everything you buried
and how it came climbing out of
you with a vengeance. Tell me about
beauty and the beast, the hand and
the fist,
how you remembered you could be
both the thing that opens and the
thing that closes.
Come to me.
Forgive yourself for the things
that turned you into a ghost.
Let me watch you love yourself
solid again.

Caitlyn Siehl, Phantom Hand (after April Sanger’s “The Light Inside Us”)

(via alonesomes)