Intellectual Decolonization Through Writing


waters of assimilation

assimilation flows over
	       my soul
carrying shiny attractive things
	       in the milky waters

appealing pieces of
glitter -

	european clothing

should i go with it
	or fight against it?

             european waters feel
	              cool to my body
wrong to my soul


Kingdom of Cotton

damp heat billowing through the window
pungent smell of cotton

as I drive Route 29 in southern Alabama
near the corner of a cotton plantation

among white blossoms ready for the picking
the owner erects a sign to passersby:

for the kingdom of heaven is near

almost choking as I pass
I think how foolish these words sound

coming from him, who
built his cotton fields on dead Indians

and stolen land
on Black slavery and his own laziness

as the sign dwindles in my rearview mirror
I retort under my breath:

do you not know thieves and murderers
will not inherit the kingdom of god?


Biologically Savage

i was



       taught me

i was


The Fall of Roman Civilization

in history class you
taught me
about the rise and fall of
Roman civilization

with great trepidation
you taught me
why Rome fell
as though your heart would shatter
into a million jagged pieces

while I wondered
why anyone cared
why Rome fell

you taught me about
Roman leaders conquering lands
and people not their own -

torturing, murdering -
just like the Europeans
with the Native Americans

I don't give a fuck
Why Rome fell!
I only regret
the bastard empire didn't fall
much sooner than it did


Being Owned By White People

your grandmothers

       were owned by white people
 - my people were not

they did not buy and sell us
they did not make us cook for them

         clean toilets
         pick cotton

they did not
        force us to lie down for them

but now we do it for free


Brownskin Babies of Manifest Destiny

you killed my grandmother to
stop future brownskin babies
from being born

who'd remind you that
the land you live on is

the faces you paint on your currency are

the people you descend from are


adopting weapons of the oppressor

muscogee culture survives

      tribulation, genocide

we still dance the way
our ancestors danced around

      the sacred

strong like the Moai statues of Easter Island
adopting weapons of

      the oppressor

our enemy no longer white
      battles muscogee

like the Rapa Nui of Easter Island
we learn
      to destroy ourselves


The Legacy of Conquests

they celebrate
a day off from work and school
 - swaddled in patriotism
    the heralded navigator
    and renowned explorer

sitting alone
         I know your exploits of
countless christian sins -
stealer of land and children
cold slave owner

building your house on the
       blood of natives,
filling your hunger on the
nectar of virgins -
clumsy navigator, crucible murderer -

come close to me
      and smell my nectar
rub your hand
      against my nipple
cast your finger
      below my navel,

Mr. Columbus, let me whisper
      come closer to me;
my breath like fire erases your existence
when I whisper


Deidra Dees