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.