“Anonymous Ripped Off Treasure”

“Somebody almost walked off wid alla my stuff. Not my poems or dance I gave up in the street, but somebody almost walked off wid alla my stuff like a kleptomaniac workin hard & forgettin while stealin. This is mine; this ain’t your stuff. Now why don’t you put me back & let me hang out in my own self.

Somebody almost walked off wid alla my stuff & didn’t care enuf to send a note home sayin, “I waz late for my solo conversation or two sizes too small for my own tacky skirts.” What can anybody do wit somethin of no value on a open market? Did you getta dime for my things? Hey man, where are you goin wid alla my stuff? This is a woman’s trip & I need my stuff to ohh & ahh abt…

Now you can’t have me less I give me away…I wants my things. I want my arm with the hot iron scar and my leg wit the flea bite. I want my calloused feet & quick language back in my mouth. Fried plantains, pineapple pear juice, sun-ra & joseph & jules, I want my own things. How I lived them & give me my memories. How I waz when I waz there. You can’t have them or nothin wit them… Somebody almost run off wit alla my stuff!”

– from For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf by Ntozake Shange

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