Been (RANGE)

i wrote the following poem early 2019. after sharing it on my instagram, Range Magazine reached out and asked if they could place it in their upcoming issue, Origins #11. I agreed and that was that. You can find it there or read below.



That we are not gone or new

but Been and Being. That both

our struggles and excellences

are then and now. That we will

continue to fight, thrive, and 

live. That we’ve done it first and 

shall persevere still.

However you interpret it, there 

is an infinite beauty and 

self-power in recognizing that 

we as folks of color, Brown folks, Black folks, Indigenous 

folks have been and will continue to be.

We are reflected in the creases of our grandparents’ eyes and lettered dreams, in our melanin sheen that matches from iridescent hardened beetles’ backs to the brightness of crushed spices in bagged stacks.

Colors, existence, purpose; a congruent mix of past and perfect future bursting into the present like fire on this earth that renews and creates as it destroys. 

Recognizing death and re/birth as one in the same, cause for celebration - cause for pain. 

Because we’ve BEEN — color of the earth 

been — the thickness of roots and the endurance of trees 

been — raising our fists in protest, our kids with that “you will not outwork, defeat, or outlast us” mentality 

been — on these lands before y’all were 

been — making the most out of nothing like crumbs into bread 

been — angry. sad. and tired. 

been — knowing 

been — thriving on magnificence, the “been joyous” 

been — yes persisting nevertheless, 

been — a continuation:

we’ve been had it

we’ve been magic

we’ve been resisting

we’ve been weathered and worn

we’ve been recreated

we’ve been reborn

There is nothing that you see as accident or coincidence — I am here because I’ve been

From my great grandmama to hers

From the soil of her plants to the soil of my own

Connected and intertwined like tangled, generational-spanning roots

Mined for our beauty and hella extravagance and yet:

Never ever depleted. The have-never-died.

BEEN and still BEING.

BEING and still GROWING >

BEEN: so when them folx ask you: ‘oh you do this and that?’ You can be like yes: i —> BEEN.

How wonderful it is to know that your existence alone is magic incarnate.