Konch Magazine - Open by Constance Moore

Open
by Constance Jane Moore
 
 
I watched my friend’s heart break
Understanding,
with every fiber of her being
her two sons are not safe in this world
 
I watched her shatter
just as I did at
8
12
14
when over and over and over
the warnings my mother gave
came true
 
            beware of white folk
 
Understanding,
with every fiber of my being
I am not safe in this world
 
In those moments
when oppression targets your original self,
your precious first full being
 
You split
 
The real me sits safely wrapped in my mother’s skirt
The real me stays tucked quietly under the bathroom sink
watching my father shave
 
This other me, this not fake, but not fully me, me
steps into this world
does the day to day
 
This me has friendships
that are real and true
            And
                        Yet
I stay with one eye open
waiting for the slip, the turn
Ever vigilant. Ever watchful.
 
beware of white folk
 
It is this me who sits with my friend
listens to her weep
Her pain is
            Sad
            Fresh
            Infuriating
Her mother never had to warn her
She walked into the world
 
whole
confident
 
So much so that she can love not one, but two, Black boys
Not without doubts
but with enough certainty
that she could raise them up
to be strong Black Men
 
Until this moment
 
When not love, or effort, or outrage
is enough
to keep our children safe
 
This moment broke her
 
My heart broke for her
and for me
and for this me
 
This world will shatter us all
again and again
 
I cry with her
because she is my friend
and I love her
 
with one eye open
 
 


Open
by Constance Jane Moore
 
 
I watched my friend’s heart break
Understanding,
with every fiber of her being
her two sons are not safe in this world
 
I watched her shatter
just as I did at
8
12
14
when over and over and over
the warnings my mother gave
came true
 
            beware of white folk
 
Understanding,
with every fiber of my being
I am not safe in this world
 
In those moments
when oppression targets your original self,
your precious first full being
 
You split
 
The real me sits safely wrapped in my mother’s skirt
The real me stays tucked quietly under the bathroom sink
watching my father shave
 
This other me, this not fake, but not fully me, me
steps into this world
does the day to day
 
This me has friendships
that are real and true
            And
                        Yet
I stay with one eye open
waiting for the slip, the turn
Ever vigilant. Ever watchful.
 
beware of white folk
 
It is this me who sits with my friend
listens to her weep
Her pain is
            Sad
            Fresh
            Infuriating
Her mother never had to warn her
She walked into the world
 
whole
confident
 
So much so that she can love not one, but two, Black boys
Not without doubts
but with enough certainty
that she could raise them up
to be strong Black Men
 
Until this moment
 
When not love, or effort, or outrage
is enough
to keep our children safe
 
This moment broke her
 
My heart broke for her
and for me
and for this me
 
This world will shatter us all
again and again
 
I cry with her
because she is my friend
and I love her
 
with one eye open