i believe in living.
i believe in the spectrum
of Beta days and Gamma people.
i believe in sunshine.
In windmills and waterfalls,
tricycles and rocking chairs;
And i believe that seeds grow into sprouts.
And sprouts grow into trees.
i believe in the magic of the hands.
And in the wisdom of the eyes.
i believe in rain and tears.
And in the blood of infinity.
i believe in life.
And i have seen the death parade
march through the torso of the earth,
sculpting mud bodies in its path
i have seen the destruction of the daylight
and seen bloodthirsty maggots
prayed to and saluted
i have seen the kind become the blind
and the blind become the bind
in one easy lesson.
i have walked on cut grass.
i have eaten crow and blunder bread
and breathed the stench of indifference
i have been locked by the lawless.
Handcuffed by the haters.
Gagged by the greedy.
And, if i know anything at all,
it’s that a wall is just a wall
and nothing more at all.
It can be broken down.
i believe in living
i believe in birth.
i believe in the sweat of love
and in the fire of truth.
And i believe that a lost ship,
steered by tired, seasick sailors,
can still be guided home to port.
By Assata Shakur
You can call me Alex or Alexandra
The first time I said I liked girls my voice broke
Everyone turned to me as if I had cursed at the dinner table
My mother told me to go take a shower and think about it
But mom, you can’t wash off who you are
And yes, I have been thinking about it
In a small town news spreads like wildfire
I was the walking disappointment in the middle of town square
I had been reduced to it till I was purged of this evil that threatened to claim my soul
No one would sit next to me in class
And everyday after the assembly I was taken aside and told I would burn
Hell had no mercy for those like me
But people, you don’t tell a sixteen year old child that she is possessed by the devil
And the other day when I went to get my hair cut
They loped it all off
And they said there you like to fuck girls now you can be a man
But a bad haircut doesn’t make me a man
And all the abuses you can throw at me won’t change who I am
And I stood there with their glares digging daggers into the back of my head
The old man cursed dyke, and the parents covered their childrens eyes
As if I had a disease they would catch if they looked for too long
And they threw a burning stick in my front yard and said burn you deserve to burn
So i did
I burnt myself piece by piece till there was nothing left but ashes
But remember you can burn down one Alex, one dyke, one unholy sin but
There will rise another and another and another
Till this world will have to change and then
There will be a dyke at every street corner and
I will look you in the eye and say how many will you burn?