because they are too afraid of seeing whiteness disappear: eclipse poem

astronomical events
such as the solar eclipse we watched today
have been considered omens.
even those of us laughing at people with their heads in boxes;
even those of us that decided we wanted to just feel it;
even we used a little pinhole projector
and ate strawberries in the parking lot
to seek a glimpse of a shadow,
a bright darkness,
and speculated what it might mean
to us or to someone
like Nat Turner
who envisioned an annular eclipse
as the hand of a black man
covering the sun
eclipsing white power and
killing the masters while they sleep:
burning the plantation
to survive.

this solar eclipse is no omen.
like, they have been considered omens,
but an omen appears unexpectedly
foretelling or inspiring
in a moment of uncommidifiable awe.
but we anticipate most astronomical events
like we do elections
long before they arrive
white people fill the cross-country path of the total eclipse
– “The Great American Solar Eclipse” –
(a “nation” claims a moon’s path)
and if we miss the opportunity to stand in the streets
or attend some expensive rooftop party with a philanthropic cause
we can easily sift through our feed
and see through another’s eclipse glasses
the inside of their projector box
their story
showing the bright-dark in various states and stages.

if we knew it was coming
– if some computation said so –
why weren’t we acting already?
what are you
there with your head in a box
looking like the cover of society of the spectacle (which i haven’t read)
what are you thinking
white people – if not how
we will have to sit with the discomfort
(of being in the moon’s bad graces)
and get used to discomfort
if we actually want to see a different world.
and could this media event
that eclipsed the nation’s attention today
be a catalyst for liberation
when it is declawed, wings clipped,
do-not-look-at-it-it-will-burn-your-organs?
it did not burn Nat Turner’s organs when he looked at it –
looking at the eclipse did not burn his organs but white people did.

white people will not want to read that
because they are 
too afraid
of seeing 
whiteness disappear
they need so badly to
believe in progress
to say that a slave rebellion is irrelevant to today
to argue that trump and his followers
use this talk about whiteness disappearing
to embolden white supremacy
when they use it to say that whiteness must be recovered
as if it is disappearing
and i say it because we are sadly
no where near seeing whiteness disappear
because white people believe in it so much
as if their well-intended whiteness serves liberation for the oppressed
on biodegradable picnic plates
as if
and explain to the younger generation:
; “there are set-backs”?
; “this is a set-back”?
; “there was a time when it was much worse”?
; “this is not normal”?
; “this is mentally ill”?
so, a time when: chattel slavery and rape culture.
when: all stolen land and rape culture.
when: prisons and rape culture.
when: cops murder & the life expectancy of black trans women.
when: all stolen land and still rape culture everywhere.
; “well, change happens very slowly”
what: omen are you waiting for to stop your cruel waiting?
white supremacy is not
a chronic disease or mental illness
or a social disorder that society is trying to cure.
that society is white supremacy
and is why 
whiteness has to disappear.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s