by Angelique V. Nixon
States of Conscious Anger: Love Poem to Black Unicorns
The black unicorn is restless
the black unicorn is unrelenting
the black unicorn is not
– Audre Lorde
My rage is genetic memory, fueled through the daily knowing & seeing all the ways our lives are in danger. Interlocking experiences. Submerged in blood & labor.
to be black and female
to be black, female, & queer
to be brown/black while walking
to be young black/brown male and made criminal or enemy
to be sex positive, self loving, aggressive, or confident
to be gay, lesbian, same-sex loving, bisexual, or not straight
to be woman & masculine, to be man & feminine
to be gender non-conforming, refusing labels, existing outside
to not fit into boxes or comfort zones
to walk streets of power hungry, male-dominated whiteness
to be poor, hungry, undernourished
to be unemployed, underemployed
to be a worker, to be underclass
to be forgotten & left out
to be the problem, as if our lives don’t matter
to be any of these & also of color
to be any of these & also a migrant of color
to be any of these…
Too many lives stolen through fear & hate
sometimes our own fingers drip in their/our blood
also from our silence, our fears, our denial
holding onto scraps of privilege/status if you can
but that won’t save you.
I take up my voice, my fists, speak out against injustice
I speak out against systems of control & benevolent empire
I speak out against a prison system that refuses justice
I speak out against silence & fear of difference
I speak out against intolerance & hate
I speak out against unending wars & violence.
I speak out with unrelenting force,
People of Color, our lives matter
Black lives matter
Brown lives matter
Indigenous lives matter
Trans lives matter
Women’s lives matter
Queer lives matter
Poor lives matter
Migrant lives matter
Black Unicorns, where is our magic & fury now?
Are your horns still growing? Where is our collective rage?
Injustice and violence on our bodies,
Our lands, hearts, minds, spirits,
Everyday, it is sometimes
too much to speak, too much to bare,
But we must speak it & know it deeply,
listen to our ancestors, as they rage through us,
in all our bodies & blood ripe with
the weight of lies & distorted truths.
We must claim our truths & tell our stories
so wildly & boldly, they cannot stop us.
We must decolonize our hearts/minds/bodies,
love ourselves & heal from the root.
To love ourselves is radical, to love each other
to love blackness, browness, all-we-shades-colors-mixes
to love difference, is radical,
to love with fyah feeding spirit
to love the feminine in each one of us
to love the earth & every creature we share it with, is radical.
Love Self. Rage More. Make Furious Our Survival.
Angelique V. Nixon is an Afro-Caribbean writer, artist, teacher, scholar, activist, and poet – born and raised in The Bahamas. Her research, cultural criticism, and poetry have been published widely. She strives through her activism, writing, and art to disrupt silences and carve spaces for resistance and desire. She is a Lecturer at the Institute for Gender and Development Studies at University of the West Indies, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago.
An earlier version of this poem originally appeared in my creative essay titled “States of Anger: Black Women & Furious Survival” – published in Zora Magazine, Summer 2014, Special Issue, Notes on Anger. It is republished here as part of ourBlack Feminisms Blog Carnival.