Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

A or B?


my dear, well-defined friend asked me
if i was A or B
and i laughed softly,
trying to find a way to explain
that i am neither of the rough-edged two
but if i had to choose,
i would be the the X that is barely used
at the beginning of sentences.

definitions are sentences–
mandatory minimums that require us to stay
locked in the rusty bars of identity
that we ourselves possess the key.
my heart repels labels and embraces individuality,
fights against the nominal definitions of humanity
and oh, how i feel free.

i want to pull you with me.
so for every:
heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, “try”sexual,
transgendered, opposite gender,
black, brown, Latino, Hispanic,
African, Asian, American, foreigner;
for every Christian, Jew, Buddhist, Muslim,
atheist, agnostic, traditionalist,
African religion believer, and seeker;
for every hipster, trendy, preppy, yuppy,
ghetto, classy, bourgeoisie personality;
for every rich, poor, in between finance’s doors
and every other title, classification, and variety,
all human beings breathing the same air as me,
i beseech you to break free
from the labels of identity.

we are all making ourselves too small
by covering our hearts with words
that aren’t big enough to capture
all of who we are.
who we are is critical
if we are going to influence the future.
we are tomorrow’s past and it is time we get past
division in the form of labeling prisons.
forget A or B–
choose C or E
or a symbol not of the 26,
blend them together until categories no longer exist
and we are stripped down naked
to the essence of who we really are
because we need who we are
to be who we are.

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One response

  1. malcolmjames

    Amen.

    November 28, 2008 at 1:39 am

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