Taking a Day Off Or F$&% You White Supremacist F$&%heads
(ADULT LANGUAGE BELOW)

By Reza Rites

When you work
So hard
To be
To yell
To exude

I am a woman
I am worthy
I am talented
I am beautiful
I bring value
I bring joy
I bring love
I bring promise

I exist
I reach
I lead
I fall
I hurt
I rebuild
I support
I thrive

You are forced
To take days off
Symptoms of doubt
Desperation
And erasure
Can threaten
To attack
You
And overcome
Your body
And mind
Don’t let them in

Yesterday doesn’t matter

Ignore those instances in which
We
Yes we marginalized people
Were given preferential treatment
But then suddenly
Surrounded
By violence
Masked as dancing
Hegemonic leanings
Masked as debate
Hostility and aggression
The new old norm
No thought given
To whether
Those up front
Suffer from trauma precipitated by
Forced invisibility
Or physical
Or psychic
Violence
Exacerbated by
The absence of accountability
Empathy or acknowledgment
And the way there is
No way
To tell the difference
Between dance
And interpersonal destruction
Don’t let them in

Yesterday doesn’t matter

Put aside the night
And day
Full of surprises for many
Though the perplexity
Was perplexing
As the subjects of study
Are people who
Live on your block
Attended your camp
Deposit at your bank
Attend the same barbers
And tattoo spot
Pick up groceries
Buy sneakers and hats
Attended the same schools
Prayed and tithed
Developed and
Found ideologies there
Right
By
Your side
Why are you asking me
Questions
You sound like
Don’t let them in

Yesterday doesn’t matter

And what of
The other night
Inspired by soul
In a place that looked like
A chemists lab for
Constructing and deconstructing
Dove soap
Even though professionals
Can be hired or played with
And titles can be adjusted
And tweaked
Even though the reference
Doesn’t end with the S word
It is also the power
Made famous by afros,
Fists and hair picks
Some of the very staples of
The times and people
You play, mimic and
Borrow from
But don’t make room for
Or maybe
They don’t come
Or
Maybe
Don’t let them in

Yesterday doesn’t matter

But I am they
And I want to go home
Because there is
No home
Here


When you work
So hard
To be
To yell
To exude

I am a woman
I am worthy
I am talented
I am beautiful
I bring value
I bring joy
I bring love
I bring promise

I exist
I reach
I lead
I fall
I hurt
I rebuild
I support
I thrive

You are forced
To take days off
Symptoms of doubt
Desperation
And erasure
Can threaten
To attack
You
And overcome
Your body
And mind
Don’t let them in

Yesterday doesn’t matter