Body and Mind
The Sun presents a selection of poems that speak to the subtle and not-so-subtle injustices going on around us. Featuring Cortney Lamar Charleston, Ashley M. Jones, Eve Williams, Anuradha Bhowmik, Hope Wabuke, Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello, Amy Dryansky, Brionne Janae, Danez Smith, and Brian Gilmore.
Camille T. Dungy On Racism, Writing, And Radical Empathy
If you say to me, “I don’t see race when I see you,” that means you’ve just erased a large piece of my experience and identity. That’s a type of violence.
In the fall of 1991 I was the lowest-ranking waiter at a steakhouse in Hampton, Virginia. My sole transportation was a Honda 350 motorcycle — halfway between a street bike and a moped — whose chain slipped at the most inopportune times.
Now he’s here, and there had better be something holy in this darkness. So he puts his hands up and opens his eyes as wide as he can and says he has a message from God. Slowly everyone turns. They see a skinny kid who is not quite a man speaking words that are hard to unravel because of his accent.
Even at the peak of my methamphetamine days, I would have had trouble talking for seven hours. I aim to please, however. A longing to please is both my weakness and my strength. It’s why I cook, why I write, why I take five years to get a sentence right, why I’m so goofily polite, why I reply to fan letters from prisoners.