Why do I write?

I write so that my caged thoughts can take flight.

So that my lyrical mind can unwind around the spherical bind of reality--

See, with me—I am far from the normality.


My parents sent me to private school from the age of three

And expected nothing

But the best


But success

From their only child


I’m the other side of black culture

I’m the other side of black

I’m the




Sides aching over too much sideways studying

Too many nights spent lying


The lines between real and reality

My mind


With words from way back when

When backwards thinking they were


For words

Four words






Why do I write?


I write because my pen’s might is stronger than your sword, and his gun and her words!


Her words like birds; Alfred Hitchcock--


Attacking me up and over and around as I try to block what she says when she looks me

Her words when she says:


“Simone, I worry about you.


“I worry about you and all those private-school kids and what they’re doing to you—

I’ve sacrificed everything to give you this life

But what you say

What you think

How you act

It’s so—it’s so



I write—though in

In my mind’s eye

I see myself flipping frantically through the pages in my binder

Trying desperately to find the notes on how to

Unwind this double bind

On how to untwist this double helix

Into a single strand of identity.


Because it seems like

With each A I earn

Each shade lighter I burn.


Until one day

I’ll wake up

With blonde hair

And blue eyes

With creamy skin

And narrow thighs--


I write – though in my mother’s shuttered eyes

I see the shreds of regret and absolute fear every 7:30 in the morning as my foot hits the pavement in front of school.

And perhaps as she pulls away from the impatient curb

Perhaps she wishes that the only other alternative was not to

Send me to the place

Where the grime embedded in the walls and ground into the tiles of the bathroom floors

Was the only thing available to





My mother:

A light-skinned yellow-bone Creole from New Orleans, Louisiana

A woman who can pass for white

Who has a soul supposedly blacker than mine

Just because she spent more time around “true” black people.


the girl whose life has made her too


For her own skin

Within the framework of a private school education.


Why do I write?

Why do I write?

Why do I write?


Write, I do.


So I can define me.



I would love anything you have to share!

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