I say black. Dualism. White uncomfortable. I can’t account for that. Light is pale. It is enlightenment. It is a celestial body. Dark is arising from or showing evil traits. It is lacking knowledge or culture. It is not known or explored because of remoteness. It is not fair in complexion. Fair is free of obstacles.
“Language that feels hurtful is intended to exploit all the ways that you are present.”
Look! Who wrote this dictionary and named the animals. Who made the zoo.
Look! Who places. And who is placed— behind bars.
Look at who has had their place removed.
I’ve been lobotomized.
Name. Tag. You’re it!
You’re crazy. Stop writing about this.
I can’t, my love. I’m a mule.
Nobody wants to talk about it.
Am I from Africa or the islands?
Why can’t I sleep?
I say whiteness. I say systemic. I say stop. I say so repeatedly. Stop! I say. But I’m carried off anyway. I say STOP. I say colonialism. I say negation. I say no! I do not consent!
Afterwards, I “Beat myself with a stick.” Internalized sharp. I feel.
“I don’t exist.” You look. I swallow. Your gaze whole.
You don’t really see me.
But I stare back.
I say, look! There’s one!
(Claudia Rankine) Citizen, page 49 for the first quote
Merriam-Webster.com for definitions of light, dark and fair
(Bhanu Kapil) Schizophrene, pages 28, 32 for the last two quotes
(Zora Neale Hurston) “The black woman is the mule of the world.” “I feel most colored when I am thrown against a sharp white background.”