Shadows of Feminism by Shelly Spinelli

I’ve been thinking about this skin and how it’s been fearing death for so long
I’ve been thinking about my kin and how they just keep on keeping on
I’ve been thinking about my sins and that white pearly door
I’ve been thinking about so many grins that’ve learned to soar

Being black and woman is to have a mountain top roar

It is to hold an unloaded gun to the temple of white supremacy
Threatening to shoot

To be voiceless

My stomach digesting bullets of hatred
To be promised a new breath

This is a state of emergency
There are women being raped,
Dying
And they look just like me

And as much as I wanna say Rest in Peace to Sandra, Raynette, Kindra, Joyce, Rekia

Black women are the shadow that feminism runs from

I be this black thing that you drag on concrete
As you run towards the sun
Holding up movements
Cracked pavements
That shadows seep in & out of

The light from the sun is painfully white
and male
and 35
Silhouetting your image
Intersectionality is the Siamese twin of White feminism
We meet at the heel
A sole I’ve never seen

Ain’t no peace in lynchings
Ain’t no God in cowards
Ain’t no harmony in hierarchies

Soak in the sun
It gloats over your captivity
Has you on its side for one more day

But when the sun sets,
It is but a memory
Do not run to the crescent light that peaks from the darkness.
That is all that black women have

We are not afraid of the sun
We absorb the light of the moon

Waiting for stars gathering
With the North Star to guide, reunite with ancestors, respond to Assata’s Underground Railroad

Escape to a thousand midnights
To acres of blackness
That are alive

Milk chocolate flavored
With waves
Kinks
And Melanin that won’t apologize
for roaring

————
Shelly Spinelli is a new face emerging onto the poetic scene. Just a few months experience and she’s already made appearances in Jersey City Slam’s Women of the World Qualifier and Women of the World Last Chance Slam. Shelly is a member of Elley Sh’Von formerly known as the Montclair State University Slam Team is who recently competed in the 2016 College Union Poetry Slam Invitational, placing 7th in the world.  Shelly has featured at the Haitian Student Association Annual Induction Dinner, Organization of Students for Africans United Paul Robeson Banquet and alongside Elley Sh’Von at Nuyorican Poets Café.

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