Open letter to the students I teach.

Listen to these silence students
These only been told what to do
So when I ask
They say foreign is you
Swear we are on separate sides of things
But I only came because I remember what it felt like to be young and unheard
Black and wishing the playing field was level
Wishing my reality was like what I saw in TV

But they don’t hear me though

Don’t hear the way I phrase these sentences
Structure them like the economic gap
Only focused on the bottom line
Seems like they need a recession to appreciate living in the overflow

I don’t spend my time with worthless folks so stop trying to convince me you aint worth it
Aint worth the time it is taking to break through the walls you having me climbing
Worth the hours planning and the sleepless nights
Tell me you are worth this fight
But they don’t hear me though

You are beautiful
And worth waiting for
Got stories the world needs to know exist
Do you know they count you like statistics?
They talk about you like you don’t have a pulse or a heartbeat or a story
Say you aint going anywhere but to the grave or prison
Tell them they don’t know shit
Tell them who you are
Write it
In words that will haunt them
Words that can’t be erased or ignored
Poems
Press emotion onto page

You seem heavy these days
Got a bunch of problems you shouldn’t know how to solve
Nothing is easy
I promise poetry wont be either

Too much silence on a blank page
Got to face it to free it
Pretend it is just you
In the safest place you have never been
Forget everything you’ve ever said you couldn’t do
Let a new version of yourself shine through
I might be the only one who genuinely wants to listen
So don’t let this moment go

I hold tight the things you say
Watch the way you walk in these doors
Try to leave you with something that might soothe the blows
These tests only define parts of you
These poems they are the crux of you
The blossom and bloom of you
The shatter and watch how you mosaic broken into beautiful
These poems they are the real of you
When actions are invisible
Let these poems make bold of you

I hope on the day you know yourself you think of me
Think of my tongue
The way I questioned everything
How I was rough and unwavering
Remember how you didn’t understand the way I loved you for no reason
Just simply because you existed
Remember that it was the first time you didn’t have to earn love

Love,
I hope you are not there the day I surrender
The day I have no more to give
No more interest in being disrespected
I hope you never see my face in full submission
My hands folded and my heart still
I have loved you before you were mine
Before bells rang and long after
So listen when I speak to you
We might not seem like we have anything in common
But I woke up this morning just like you
Trying to figure out how to navigate this complicated world
Just like you
Get heart broken and taken advantage of
Wanna bust faces and yell curse words
So before you go thinking we aren’t on the same side of things
Remember I keep showing up
Keep trying
I keep wanting to know you.

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