“Unnamed Poem”

by Ryan Wilson (Staff Writer)

“Unnamed Poem”

It’s hard to love the world

When you’ve never loved yourself

When you’ve been taught never to love yourself

They wanted to contain our hearts

So they planted us in small pots

So our compassion may know boundaries

And call those borders the world

They told us to grow big

Knowing we were displaced

Doomed to grow at the expense of ourselves

And collapse into our own emptiness

 

How did they rob you from the earth?

My hair was too unruly

My nose was too wide

I was rooted in skin too dark and too light to be beautiful

My mouth was made to be too big and too loud

With lips you called ugly

Until you kissed them

And then you wanted more

Taught me to smile

So you would only see what                       you desired

So I would seem less dangerous

So you could see a part of me in the dark

In the                      blackness

Even I learned to stop seeing myself

The mirror only reflected disappointment and

Muddy brown eyes that promised I could love them

if only they were clearer

if my lips were thin enough to

pull back into that charmingly crooked smile that always pairs so well

with a head of messy

(not kinky)

Brown hair

 

I had to write myself into love

Transplant my characteristics onto characters that are supposed to embody my struggle

But who cannot both look like me

And be relatable

Because a Mockingjay is a whole lot prettier than a Jim Crow

And Force is never good when it comes from the dark side

The world loves to dream of fighting Capitols and Empires

Am I not the voice you’re looking for?

 

They knew we were seeds

That’s why they would rather we hang

Or bleed out on asphalt

We are only           allowed to be planted in boxes

Lest our roots grow deep

Intertwine

And empower those they tried to bury with us

Lest we learn to find humanity where they said there was none

Lest we learn to love ourselves

And beyond