The Empire Strikes Back by Gervanna GRAVITY Stephens

Take a read to commemorate the end of Black History Month.

Random Poem Tree

Empire eyes me,
sizes my self-worth up, cuts me down to fit into the mold.
Shaped.
Set.
I do as I am told.

Empire doesnโ€™t shout,
whispers sweetly; seduces.
I think the idea is mine,
so I make the choice you want me to.

Empire requests,
demands; refuses my right to say no.
Mute.
Speechless.
I parrot your yes back to you:
voice a blurry high.

Empire shrugs,
stares hard, sands my edges.
No longer unique.
I drone.
No quips.
A stringed version of myself.

Rebel โ€” get smacked down, but

Empire stands taller,
supported by forces dark
that bare an uncanny mirror of myself.

Empire strikes back,
and doesnโ€™t explicitly say join or die,
but the haunting shrilling silence
of its troops reveal
the dark side of the force.


Gravity Stephens is a Jamaican born spoken word artist who sees the world in sentences and punctuation that are justโ€ฆ

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