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THOSE TEARS -- Chrystos

of a white woman who came to the group for Women of Color
her grief cut us into guilt while we clutched the straw
of this tiny square inch we have which we need
so desperately when we need so much more
We talked her into leaving
which took 10 minutes of our precious 60
Those legion white Lesbians whose feelings are hurt
because we have a Lesbians of Color Potluck
once a month for 2 hours
without them
Those tears of the straight woman
because we kicked out her boyfriend at the Lesbians only
poetry reading where no microphone was provided
& the room was much too small for all of us
shouting that we were imperialists
though I had spent 8 minutes trying to explain
to her that an oppressed people
cannot oppress their oppressor
She ignored me
charged into the room weeping & storming
taking up 9 minutes of our precious tiny square inch
Ah those tears
which could be jails, graves, rapists, thieves, thugs
those tears which are so puffed up with inappropriate grief
Those women who are used to having their tears work
rage at us
when they don't
We are not real Feminists they say
We do not love women
I yell back with a wet face
_Where are our jobs? Our apartments?_
_Our voices in parliament or congress?_
_Where is our safety from beatings, from murder?_
_You cannot even respect us to allow us_
_60 uninterrupted minutes for ourselves_

Your tears are chains
Feminism is the right of each woman
to claim her own life her own time
her own interrupted 60 hours
60 days
60 years
No matter how sensitive you are
if you are white
you are
No matter how sensitive you are
if you are a man
you are
We who are not allowed to speak have the right
to define our terms our turf
These facts are not debatable
Give us our inch
& we'll hand you a hanky

for MAV & DENISE, who guarded the door after the incident at the Lesbian
reading & thus, didn't get to hear the poetry

Her biography and criticism.
mercifulserpent: (Default)
dancing on bridges -- aurora levins morales

loving deeply across differences of culture is like being an immigrant again, now that i'm finally getting used to this place.
when you stop being a tourist and start to *live* in someone else's country, the real, deep differences become visible... you have to be willing to give up the comfort of knowing what to expect.
and if one of you comes from a more dangerous life and bloodier history than the other, the one who feels safer in the world has to ask over and over again, "tell me everything that has happened to you..." it's the only way to get through the wall of silence opressing the oppressed.
but after seven years together, the intensity of my tone of voice still sounds like anger to him, and i can barely detect he modulations in his, so i always think he's bored.
you buy me plaintains, i buy you black-eyed peas.
throughout the years, it was my father [who was jewish] who remembered exactly who all the morales, moure and diaz cousins were and what they did. he spoke high school latin to people until he learned enough spanish.
while my father cooked tostones, my mother yearned for blintzes and kosher dills, and made latkes for hannukah... she was proud of the jewish history of activism. she took it as a personal gift.... she used yiddish as if it were a new spice invented for puerto ricans like her, and she would laugh with pleasure and affection, shrugging the way her friends' mothers had in new york, whenever she heard jewish music.


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November 2014

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