Thursday, November 8, 2012

Letter to myself (for Colloquium)

I know girls like you
The kind to run when seeing stacks of words on top of each other
I know the way it makes every part of your body stutter, shake and shatter
How the insecurity you think you’ve locked under your skin
Comes flying past the surface

I know how the repeating consonants remind you of bars
And walls
Scratch against the back of your throat
Like dry chalk
How you will cramp and cram your tongue into itself
Just to make the sounds seem like they fit falling through your lips

I know how you will write
And not know why
Not understand the ocean of water falling out
Because you will refuse
To let a single word under light

Because you are second language
Second chance
You are back of the classroom
Without a hand
You are broken body
And beated tongue

You are poems
On poems
On poems
Because the thought of punctuation makes you want to crawl inside of yourself
Makes you remember

You dumb
You worthless child
With words no worth
They say
Illiterate you believe
Because your vocabulary don’t stretch far enough to understand
The way the attempt at that insult is laughable

No one understands
Not even yourself
Cant even communicate right
Got twice the number of words 4 times the feelings circling in your mind
Don’t make no sense
The ease of the other kids language
Only have one world they need to find fitting into their mouth
Clawing at broken century tongue
And colonial empire
It is a miracle you haven’t torn yourself completely to pieces just yet

So many things you don’t know
Cant understand
Can barely see from inside
That cage they built with the rules of their words
Make you believe they own your tongue
And all the fire your saliva spits
They don’t know how you’ve severed all their language in half to make it stable
To make it mean
How bright that light of you shines
Who would have thought your future would be in words

Not you,
I know
And because you were the last to learn of your brilliance
It will be your job to remember
The fractures of beginning
The way you built your own fortress from nothing
Took those words they called broken
And misused
And lined the whitest of Houses with your dirty brown speech

Don’t let their walls, cages, rules and commas name you anything other than genius
Than strong
Than beauty
Because you are transformation embodied
Evolution acquired
You are two worlds
In one throat
The closest thing to coexisting
That survives

You are Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio
A chant sung to the heavens
You are made of words
Built of language
And the last thing you should be afraid of
Is yourself