A Piece For Peace

Searchin’ for love in my left

looking for peace in my right

Yo

I do what I can

to protect myself in this

genocidal, homicidal, suicidal

do or die

hate and be hated

fucked up the ass without vaseline

world we die i mean live in

pretendin’ everything is fine

but I’m too real to be fake

and the mistake that was made

over three hundred years ago

was yours and mine yet

I am still doing time in the land of

the red, white, and blue

ran by the green

printed by the white

to control the color(ed)

that ran together

like a rainbow

of betrayal and redemption

and the contradiction

or our pain and our beauty

confused the masses

who thought everything was up

on the okey doke fine

and lies they created

became truths we accepted

gave us a page in Hi(s)tory

of America

from slavery

to Lincoln

to Martin

to nothin’

still strugglin’

for that piece of American pie

and the right to be seen as

human beings

Searchin’ for love in my left

looking for peace in my right

As a black, gay, wo(man)

do I scare you? Am I a threat?

Identity politics bore me

but three headed dragons

telling my story

breathe lessons

of oppression and obsession

extinguished by

see hear speak no evil

righteous entities

who think they belong

to the right

but they’re wrong

hangin’ on the rung

of the ladder

to keep their position

to reach the glass ceiling

that’s really a mirror

reflecting we are all one ya’ll

we are one

we are all queer ya’ll

we are queer

but that’ s not what you want to hear

so stones are conjured and thrown

shards of glass blind eyes

to see or not to see?

is the question that keeps me up

most nights

and the answer is an old black woman who says ‘baby, lay down your burdens chile’

*sings* ‘I’m gonna lay down my burdens

down by the riverside

down by the riverside

down by the riverside

I’m gonna lay down my burdens

down by the riverside

study war no more’

but the old white man

who owns the river

laughs and says nigga please

and chases me outta mind, body

and soul

‘til I’m standing naked before

the preacher who says

‘you got to

you got to love

you got to love

you got to hear me when I say

you got to love thy enemy

love thy enemy

love the enemy. But damn

when do we get to love ourselves?

Searchin’ for love in my left

lookin’ for peace in my right

In black circles we pass

as friends

passin’ passion

woman to woman

just passin’ through

to white squares

where we are tokens for the

‘Some of my best friends are black’

ride and I am sick and throw up pink triangles where our sexuality commonality

is the tie that binds us

and the rope that chokes you

is the race don’t matter

card that the dealer keeps dealin’

race matters ‘cause

I’d rather be high

than stone(d)

but what I really wanted you to know

is that the merry-go-round way

of the world is

tricky, dizzy, and dark

‘Ain’t no sunshine’

so get off every once in awhile

search for the light within

be like a tree and grow

Searchin’ for love in my left

looking for peace in my right

peace

PEACE

*This written version has slight variations in comparison with the oral version. I wrote this in 97 at age 19 before transition.*

I was messaging with a friend and we were talking about a Paulo Coehlo quote: We will love our enemies, but not make alliances with them. They were placed in our path in order to test our sword, and we should, out of respect for them, struggle against them.

I find it very interesting. At this time in my life I don’t believe in enemies or an enemy as a person or people. I think of enemies as old ideas or limiting thoughts are oppressive systems. Anything that tries to destroy what is beautiful about the human spirit is something for me to fight against. The quote makes me think of allies and alliances. Who are my allies? How am an ally to others in my life? I love my friends who identify as straight who fight for lgbt rights. I feel loved and less alone. I love how one of my gay friends asked if he could join me next year in the Pride Parade here in SD and march as an ally with our Trans contingent. I think about a line from one of my favorite songs “no longer lend your strength to that which you wish to be free from.” (Life Uncommon by Jewel) Right now I feel very strongly in adding my energy (+E) to social justice. Economic Justice. Love Justice. Food Justice. The chant: NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE is in my head.

When we know justice we will know peace.

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