Note from creator: Here is a poem I wrote about my ongoing dissatisfaction being partnered with white people.
It is also a poem about what white people might experience when they pursue or when they are already in dating, marital, et al. relationship with a racialized / non-white person.
Whenever I date a white person, I felt like I always had to explain myself whenever we confront our racial/cultural differences and whenever I express my desires for wanting to thrive and rise as a person of color. They never understood — much less supported these efforts.
These dynamics often left me emotionally, mentally, and spiritually exhausted. In other cases, I felt ashamed for thinking I was the “burdensome” one in the relationship. I felt like I was asking too much.. from my white partner.
I wrote this piece not for the sole intention of keeping white people away or telling them they will never be ready for us; instead, I intended to write about my desire to be seen and understood. To feel authentically, effortlessly connected with a partner without needing to work too hard to explain myself.
This poem shows that at this point in this lifetime, white people have not understood me in ways that are enough to help me thrive and rise.
By Gabes Torres
Approach with caution
for I bring a story, beyond you and me
With my lips, you kiss and taste the sweetness of my mother tongue
And an appetite for the sand, the shore, the sun
I am a hurried creature who can’t sit still when you begin to paint or sketch
the unfamiliar features of my face on your canvas
Afraid to be gazed upon longingly, to be smitten by, to be basked in
Are you ready? ready to hear my ancestors’ adoration
That they chanted to the fields and the night sky,
the same adoration that emerge in my handwritten letters to you
and my poetry about your eyes
Are you ready to hear the cracks from my soul’s bones
as it braces itself to hear the next time the crowd reduces me
to a motionless,
and lifeless idea that they tied to my skin tone?
When all this time, its shade resembles the ground from which they stand on,
and the very soil they want life from
Are you ready? Ready for a louder, more somber, maybe less sober,
Indecisive but creative, peculiar, and radiant phenomenon that is new to all your senses?
The phenomena of my love and of my passion
for you, for my people, for our dignity and our rightful places
And when you are inside
are you ready for a palette, wider
with more color,
more taste, more language,
more spice and sound
An expanding range of emotions from only two seasons all year ‘round
And a climaxing crescendo of tales and spaces you never knew could ache
while hearing lives that have passed on whose voices are still awake
Are you awake? Awake enough to believe that our lives exist and breathe in the same world
And yet, I have more to do for mine to be preserved
So baby, don’t be angry that whenever you say you love me,
it’s easy for me to run, to doubt, and to refuse
For choosing me in this world, for a lifetime, and even for a day,
You might have a lot more to lose
So approach with caution, and curiosity
For I bring a story– oh just you wait, and see
Intrigued to hear about the creative process? Come find more here.
© 2019 Gabes Torres. all rights reserved.