[Poetry] For Maya

This piece has been previously published, and performed by me in multiple locations.  Reproduced here as an example of my work as a poet.  This piece is copyright 2014, all rights reserved.


“For Maya”

On May 28 of 2014, Maya Angelou passed from this world into the next.  On that day, in Atlanta Georgia, two trans women of colour were viciously assaulted on a commuter train. They were stripped by their assailants and beaten.  The train car was full of commuters, all of whom cheered the attackers on, going so far as to record and post the assault.  In the eighty-six years Maya was with us, despite the work we did and the progress we made, not a damn thing has changed.

I am not one of the good ones.
I do not fit into your boxes,
Be they physical or metaphorical,
The worms will find no solace here.

I am not one of the good ones.
I am a princess and I am a queen,
But this is no fairy tale,
You cannot climb this tower.

I am not one of the good ones.
I am unfinished,
I am uncooked,
I am abrasive and I am harsh,
I am sandpaper to your comfort:
I AM THAT I AM.

I am not one of the good ones.
You will not take my brothers,
You will not take my sisters,
You can break my body and bury me,
Steal my breath to stifle me,
Poke my eyes to blind me,
Cut off my hands to stop me,
But I will never change,
I will never be one of the good ones.

I am not one of the good ones,
I am not like you, sitting there
Righteously indignant, indignantly righteous
I am not the cause celebre you seek.
I am not a log awaiting a spark.
I am the flame unquenched.
I am the desire unsatisfied,
I am your penance, delivered
Through my words you will find salvation,
Through me your pride will be forgiven,
I’ll take you to your knees.
You’ll beg me with your eyes,
You’ll pray to your God with your words,
And only then I’ll go – Unquietly.