12 April 2009

Ntozake Shange

[from Ntozake Shange's for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf: a choreopoem, Macmillan, 1977]

excerpt from "latent rapists'"

       lady in red
these men friends of ours
who smile nice
stay employed
and take us out to dinner

       lady in purple
lock the door behind you

       lady in blue
wit fist in face
to fuck

       lady in red
who make elaborate mediterranean dinners
& let the art ensemble carry all ethical burdens
while they invite a coupla friends over to have you
are sufferin from latent rapist bravado
& we are left wit the scars

       lady in blue
bein betrayed by men who know us

       lady in purple
& expect
like the stranger
we always thot waz comin

       lady in blue
that we will submit

       lady in purple
we must have known

       lady in red
women relinquish all personal rights
in the presence of a man
who apparently cd be considered a rapist

       lady in purple
especially if he has been considered a friend

       lady in blue
& is no less worthy of bein beat witin an inch of his life
bein publicly ridiculed
havin two fists shoved up his ass

       lady in red
than the stranger
we always thot it wd be

       lady in blue
who never showed up

       lady in red
cuz it turns out the nature of rape has changed

       lady in blue
we can now meet them in circles we frequent for companionship

       lady in purple
we see them at the coffeehouse

       lady in blue
wit someone else we know

       lady in red
we cd even have em over for dinner
& get raped in our own houses
by invitation
a friend

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf


  1. Anonymous02:39

    I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



  2. Anonymous18:57

    wow this poem is making me speechless... damn, somebody had to go through this to write it

  3. Anonymous16:01

    This is my story written in the form of a poem. :"( The nature of rape has changed we as women are no longer safe in our own houses...

  4. Anonymous01:12

    It's a shame how this can happen to anyone, the offender could be ur dads bestfriend, the man could have kids(daughters), and a wife of his own, someone who literaly looks normal. This man may be adored by his community, but when everyone is asleep it's like a monstor awakens. So be very careful u sisters and brothers, watch over your siblings; be careful you parents with who you let your children sleep over with. You don't know who that monster may be. Many people lie awake crying, wishing, pleading, to return to the past and have a stronger protection over ther loved one. I don't regret my expirience, now I can take better care of my 10 yr old sis, and when I grow up, Ima make sure my kids enjoy the innocent childhood that I didn't get.