The next time any man asks ME why I’m so angry

I will ask them how long their attention span is

‘Cause my anger stretches far beyond the scope of a sentence

 And though I know I can never properly capture my anger in a lecture or a paper

I also know that small minds that ask this question in the midst of a conversation

Can only interpret syllables jumbled up in effort to define an emotion

I know that this question has been used for far too long to shut down conversations

By small men who could never keep up with the rhythm of the tongue of women of color

Could never understand the blessings of our emotions that have fueled existence

And will forever remind everyone of a daunting past with no reparations


You see, I got so much anger in me, I can smooth down painted democracies

Till all that’s left of them is white imperialism

So much anger that my blood boiled years ago

Has condensed and poured down on this country repeatedly

But no one can tell because America has been running off Iraqi blood for years now

They say blood is thicker than water but oil is thicker than blood

So invasion has left me in search for my family

Left me confused and lost and sad

And angry


I got so much anger in me that some days it’s easier to explain by

Wrapping myself along the trope of an Angry Arab and hiding

This way, I can call my mother without scaring those passing by me in the streets

That don’t understand why our tongue is so harsh and so sharp

Why we choose to cut through our conversations

The same way they cut through our countries with sanctions

They don’t understand that I pronounce every syllable of every Arabic word because I’m afraid they will take our language as well

So afraid that I drag myself into an institution watered down with apathy and privilege

And though my anger took me down this route it also bolsters me up to keep from drowning


Sometimes, my anger is my only lifeline

So forgive me if I hold on tight to it

My anger has kept me company

Far before solidarity became a trend

So no number of allies will ever persuade me to let go

So don’t ask me why I am angry when you have just now noticed the anger

As if the U.S. has just now begun to bomb our countries

So don’t look for reasoning amid rubble and smoke

Don’t look for reasoning amid a culture or a religion

So don’t try to sew back together pieces of cloth with no thread

And ask questions of a past without acknowledging the dead

Don’t tell me to let go when my anger, our anger, is what builds up every society

I mean, what do you think pushed the cradle of civilization?

And hushed each child not wanting to let go of their pain?


But some days, I want to let go

Can’t bare to carry all this emotion on my back

And I try to brush them off but they fall down to my ankles

So I am reminded of their weight with every step I take

I drag them everywhere I go

And, truthfully, I’ve been tired for so long

I feel myself draining through filters

Yet still instilled within this anger

I can’t move past this

Because, if I weren’t angry, would you forget about the reasons for my anger?


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