Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from July 23, 2011

Sharing a Poem: What's Genocide

Found this on Tumblr.

Brilliant.

====================

Carlos Andres Gomez, What’s Genocide [content warning: internalized racism and self injury] their high school principal
told me I couldn’t teach
poetry with profanity
so I asked my students,
“Raise your hand if you’ve heard of the Holocaust.”
in unison, their arms rose up like poisonous gas
then straightened out like an SS infantry
“Okay. Please put your hands down.
Now raise your hand if you’ve heard of the Rwandan genocide.”
blank stares mixed with curious ignorance
a quivering hand out of the crowd
half-way raised, like a lone survivor
struggling to stand up in Kigali
“Luz, are you sure about that?”
“No.”
“That’s what I thought.” “Carlos—what’s genocide?” they won’t let you hear the truth at school
if that person says “fuck”
can’t even talk about “fuck”
even though a third of your senior class
is pregnant. I can’t teach an 18-year-old girl in a public school
how to use a condom that will save her life
and that of the orphan she will be forced
to give to th…