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Audre Lorde

(18 February 1934 – 17 November 1992 / New York City)

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For Each of You


Be who you are and will be
learn to cherish
that boisterous Black Angel that drives you
up one day and down another
protecting the ploace where your power rises
running like hot blood
from the same sourse
as you pain.

When you are hungry
learn to eat
whatever sustains you
until morning
but do not misled by details
simply because you live them.

Do not let you head deny
your hands
any memory of what passes through them
not your eyes
nor your heart
everything can be used
except what is wasteful
(you will need
to remember this when you are accused of destruction.)
Even when they are dangerous examine the heart of those machines you hate
before you discard them
and never mourn the lack of their power
lest you be condemened
to relieve them.
If you do not learn to hate
you will never be lonely
enough
to love easily
nor will you always be brave
although it does not grow any easier

Do not pretend to convenient beliefs
even when they are righteous
you will never be able to defend your city
while shouting.

Remember whatever pain you bring back
from your dreaming
but do not look for new gods
in the sea
nor in any part of a rainbow
Each time you love
love as deeply as if were
forever
only nothing is
eternal.

Speak proudly to your children
where ever you may find them
tell them
you are offspring of slaves
and your mother was
a princess
in darkness.

Submitted: Sunday, September 11, 2005
Edited: Sunday, September 11, 2005

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