Some Poetry Sunday columns this month will reprise previous features of black women poets and poems that take up questions of social justice. We share the outrage and heartbreak over the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and other BIPOC and believe that that courageous dialogue about racial prejudice is critical to the survival of our culture and country. These poems remind us that poetry is a powerful vehicle for such a dialogue, and we will continue to make them a regular part of the Poetry Sunday series.

 

Some years there exists a wanting to escape…

 

Some years there exists a wanting to escape—

you, floating above your certain ache—

still the ache coexists.

Call that the immanent you—

 

You are you even before you

grow into understanding you

are not anyone, worthless,

not worth you.

 

Even as your…

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