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Dear Writers and Listeners: Your Privilege Will Not Show Up on My Pages


by Diku Rogers

Dear Writers, Listeners, and Writers who do not Listen
My poetry makes you uncomfortable
My stories do not make sense to you
My characters are not “relatable”
So, like many have said before me,
Please take several seats.


Your privilege will not show up on my pages.
It is not my fault that the reality of my reality
Is a universe you can never imagine
The sh*t that goes down for me
Goes right over your head
You search through my words
Like they are broken mirrors
Looking for some resemblance of yourself
You will not find yourself here.
You will not find yourself in the dropping of my “g’s”
Or my metaphors of city streets and Caribbean eats
You will not find yourself
In my similes of browns and blacks
You will not find yourself
In my harsh tone
I have no atonement
For your inability to empathize.

Stop trying to gentrify my stories
They do not need more characters YOU can relate to.
They do not need more characters that look like you.
Go look in your English classes, History textbooks, dining halls and dormitories.
I will not twist my words to appease you.
My characters are already oppressed by the pages they are confined to.
Every narrative does not have your voice. Deal with it.

How quick you are to praise
The story of a “typical” college kid
But notice how quick you judge
The microaggressions faced by a little black girl.
As I type this a red line appears under the word “microagression”
I mean Microsoft Word doesn’t even know what the f*ck I’m talking about.

Dear Writers, Listeners, Writers who do not listen
You wanna kick it with Raymond Carver but can’t take Audre Lorde out on a date.
You’re afraid to sit with James Baldwin at lunch but you run to stand in line next to Bukowski.

Writers, Listeners, Writers who do not listen
You amaze me
Tell me what it’s like
To pick up your pen
And not have it bleed to death
With ink that’s black like me
Now before you tell me how hard it’d be
To write with a white pen
Have you ever heard of invisible ink?
It’s written all over your face
Signed on all your credit card receipts
It’s used in court rooms
And classrooms
Which are sometimes the same thing
Because while you cast judgement
I am tired of being trialed
I am tired of shining
My black light on your invisible writing
Trying to make you see the words
You don’t have to say

Your privilege will not show up on my pages.
And I am trying to get published
So realize you will not find yourself in my words.
Cause I had to realize- a long time ago- that I wasn’t going to find mine in yours.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock



Diku Rogers is an aspiring writer from Brooklyn, NY and currently a rising junior in college. She is in the process of creating her own blog.

Inquiries, questions, thoughts, positive vibes can be sent to dikurogers@gmail.com.

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