Holloween, The Mourning-After Poem

At a Halloween house party where I was one of two African American college students, I came to represent available, accessible sex. I was transformed from a sexual subject to object by the rap music and by the anonymous white guy who groped me. The rap music was so loud that I could not hear my soul yelling “No.” I felt hollow. I did nothing that night. I was consumed with rage. This is my mourning-after poem, my way of reconstructing and reclaiming that (body) part of me.


I still feel the echo,

My voice cursing

This drunken 6 ft. something

White man walking out

Of the door

After taking his

Football hand

To grab my ass from my

Rectum upward.

 

I came to the Halloween party with a halter

Spandex denim catsuit

Pretending

To be Foxy funked

Out in an afro wig and retro threads,

A black ghost

When I had my guts gored

By football hands

Thinking I was his

Foxy brown black whore.

 

I saw two blonde-haired twins in their

Pseudo-lesbian stance standing in

For the prostitute. Red-lipped Marilyn

Twisted through the crowd with a bottle of bubbly,

Her breasts bubbling over, her white skin

Blending in

With her white halter dress. I ad-

Dressed my Maryland

No-listen-to-hip-hop roommate why

She tagged her white tank a “wifebeater” without question, I asked her

What it meant

That her closest friends

Coming in as “Heaven” and “Hell” were free to take

Center-stage tag-teaming

Jeanie, Austin Powers and whiteman as himself

In a striptease dance

Which we all consumed,

Looked, laughed and frowned

Because we thought we were somehow not them. I wasn’t

Drunk, like them,

I sipped root beer.

I wasn’t high, like them,

I got off

From humming hip-hop in the corner

Screaming

From two speakers

From a homemade CD

The horror hostess called a “party mix” that I was mixed up in

‘Cause somehow drunken ass football hands

Who felt me up from the asshole up

Thought I was his real-life blaxploitation ho

From them 70s shows done over in them rap videos.

 

I walked in the house

Party with goddamn Madonna

In her ultra-mini, black lace tights, peek-a-boo tank

Surrounded by her

Entire blonde ambition, erotica entourage touring

All around me, but

Drunken ass football hands stationed right on top of me,

Right as

One of the number one raps raped me

In the background, I became (her)

Tone-deaf hearing

Nothing

But the curse

Words I could have said

If my blackness were not drowned

Out by all the white noise,

By drunken ass football hands

Walking up-

Right

Out the door

Hi-fiving his fratboylike buddies bragging

He finally got the opportunity

To fondle the foxy brown black whore

From his virtual

 

Reality.

 

An earlier version of this autoethnographic poem is featured in the journal, Qualitative Inquiry.

crunklife

11 thoughts on “Holloween, The Mourning-After Poem

  1. thank you for sharing. Your poem is dope. I love how you put this: “If my blackness were not drowned/Out by all the white noise”.

    • Thanks! Each Halloween I am reminded of this moment and I revisit it to think about black female identity and representation.

  2. This piece is as powerful as the first time when I heard it… the morning after. Thanks for sharing this timely poem as we approach this weekend when folks feel free to suspend their disguise… and show how they * really * feel. Paz hermana.

  3. Thank you Michele, Jessica and Chela for taking the time to read it and reply. It is greatly appreciated and quite affirming.

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