Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

White Noise

on a sunny spring afternoon
during my freshman year of college,
i found my voice.
not the voice of assertion or anger,
but the true revolutionary in me.
it was as if
someone dropped a piece of burning coal
inside my arteries
which steamed my soul,
sizzled in my mind
and simmered on the tip of my tongue.
the flame was sparked
by racism.
and i spoke!
little old me who was used to letting things slide
opened up her mouth with eloquence
and spoke with pride as i openly identified
the ignorant sin committed against me and others.

i was so excited that i told my lover,
sharing every detail about the incident.
i reenacted my response and waited for him
to affirm what i had expressed
but instead, he said
“Baby, the world ain’t that serious. Who cares about all that?”

my strong black coffee self
turned into decaf,
i was diet store-brand cola with melted ice,
a deflated balloon.
he turned and kissed me
and said, “Forget about all this silliness and focus on now.”
and when he pulled my pants down,
my whole psyche dwindled to the ground.
my victory now felt like personal defeat
and i realized that i had made a fool of me
by attempting to connect with one
whose consciousness flowed
on a different frequency.
our love was static and instead of changing the station,
i got used to the white noise,
kept quiet each time i was ignored,
beat down the fighter i wanted to be
all for the sake of him loving me.

thank God i’m free.


4 responses

  1. socratesoul

    Mmhmm. I like this.

    September 25, 2008 at 1:05 am

  2. Am listening to “Joan of Arc” as I read your poem. Talk about those startling moments of recognition stolen by others who never bothered to grow ears. I am still so impressed by what you are doing here. Keep it going, its more valuable than you know. And it proves that you didn’t lose that moment, just put it off until you were ready.


    September 26, 2008 at 10:12 am

  3. Thank you 🙂

    September 26, 2008 at 4:30 pm

  4. YES!!!!! I have been here before…girl you wrote one of the stories of my life in this piece. imagine loving someone who doesnt even love poetry? how absurd to silently reject ourselves by loving others who do not reflect our souls…lol but its a new day! see you soon 🙂

    September 26, 2008 at 11:51 pm

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