Body Politics| Reflections on Ferguson

In reflecting on Ferguson, I have found that it is hard to articulate embodiment of difference. My body speaks for me.  How do I express that the significance of my ‘being’ changes in moments like these? Yet, my identity is tied to how I am perceived in a space. In times of tension and misunderstanding, sometimes it’s easy to miss how deep the misunderstanding can go. Intentions and actions that are thought to be minor, can feel major. This is why we must fight for the Imago Dei to be fully viewed and honored in others. In listening we can begin to embrace another’s experience. It’s the first step in loving others as we would ourselves.

Body Politics

To some, my skin bears an agenda.

It’s warning in itself for those who are too afraid to come close.

Instead, they form their opinions from afar,

thinking that a telescope provides a full picture


How does sound travel so quickly through eyes?

But the sight of my skin forms opinions before my mouth even speaks

Do you understand that you are hearing with your eyes instead of your ears?

Let alone your heart, which was made to do the listening…


I can’t control what my skin says, how it elicits skepticism,

pain or insecurity because it’s unknown.

I hate that “different” evokes fear

I don’t want my body to be so political


How can it be that my curves and my eyes,

my hair and my thighs can bear an opinion?

My body screams Feminist!

Only on the account that it’s female,

the same way my skin puffs guilt,

like second hand smoke to all in its view


Don’t you understand?

It is you who gives my body the power to control.

It’s only revealing what’s already there

Not quite brown and not quite Asian, it doesn’t know where to fit.

But its voice resonates to all who see it


I don’t ask for my body to provoke what’s hiding in your soul

My skin and gender intertwined,

Like lightening and thunder

You can’t have one without the other


But my body is done taking sides

It’s tired of being split and categorized

of being force fed words

it hasn’t chosen to speak

On account of your fear being too weak


So listen close

It wasn’t the sound of my skin that you heard in the distance

or my body that was provoking

it was the echo of resistance

the sound of not taking sides

because the only defiance I know is love