why don’t you go on & integrate a german-american school in st. Louis mo./ 1955/ better yet why don’t ya go on & be a red niggah in a blk school in 1954/
i got it/ try & make one friend at camp in the ozarks in 1957/crawl thru one a jesse james’ caves wit a class of white kids waitin outside to see the whites of yr eyes’ why doncha invade a clique of working-class Italians trying to be protestant in a jewish community/ & come up a spade/ be a lil too dark/ lips a lil too full/hair entirely too nappy/ to be beautiful/
be a smart child tryin to be dumb/ you go meet somebody who wants/ always/ a lil less/ be cool when yr body says hot & more/ be a mistake in racial integrity/ an error in white folks’ most absurd fanasies/
be a blk girl in 1954/ who’s not blk enuf to lovingly ignore/ not beautiful enuf to leave alone/ not smart enuf to move outta the way/ not bitter enuf to die at a early age/
why doncha c’mon & live my life for me/ since the poems aint enuf/ go on & ilve my life for me/ I didn’t want certain moments at all/ I’d giv em to anybody//////

Ntozake Shange

Category: Freedom,