14 Nov

ever since i realized there waz someone callt
a colored girl an evil woman a bitch or a nag
i been tryin not to be that & leave bitterness
in somebody else’s cup/ come to somebody to love me
without deep & nasty smellin scald from lye or bein
left screamin in a street fulla lunatics/ whisperin
slut bitch bitch niggah/ get outta here wit alla that/
i didnt have any of that for you/ i brought you what joy
i found & i found joy/ honest fingers round my face/ with
dead musicians on 78’s from cuba/ or live musicians of five
dollar lp’s from chicago/ where i have never been/ & i love
willie colon & arsenio rodriquez/ especially cuz i can make
the music loud enuf/ so there is no me but dance/ & when
i can dance like that/ there’s nothin cd hurt me/ but
i get tired & i haveta come offa the floor & then there’s
that womna who hurt you/ who you left/ three of four times/
& just went back/ after you put my heart in the bottom of
yr shoe/ you just walked back to where you hurt/ & i didnt
have nothin/ so i went to where somebody had somethin for me/
but he waznt you/ & i waz on the way back from her house
in the bottom of yr shoe/ so this is not a love poem/ cuz there
are only memorial albums available/ & even charlie mingus
wanted desperately to be a pimp/ & i wont be able to see eddie
palmieri for months/ so this is a requium for myself/ cuz i
have died in a real way/ not wid aqua coffins & du-wop cadillacs/
i used to joke abt when i was messin round/ but a real dead
lovin is here for you now/ cuz i dont know anymore/ how
to avoid my own face wet wit tears/ cuz i had convinced
myself colored girls had no right to sorrow/ & i lived
& loved that way & kept sorrow on the curb/ allegedly
for you/ but i know i did it for myself/
i cdnt stand it
i cdnt stand bein sorry & colored at the same time
it’s so redundant in the modern world

~Ntozake Shange

Become yourself.


One Response to “Colored”

  1. Cleo Sunshine November 16, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

    ❤ I just re-read this book 2 nights ago before bed

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