“This is an apology to every woman that I changed colours to get inside of.”
Chameleon (An excerpt)
I was mentored by black men with brown skin who turned yellow at the sight of swollen bellies filled with half of their DNA
I was taught that a woman’s vagina is just an underground railroad to masculinity,
That real men have tunnel vision and treat girls like subway cars, like nothing more than a space to parallel park our genitals,
a hole to bury seeds and leave orchards in our rearview mirrors
They say, they say you gotta peel a woman like a tangerine
And your job as a man is to chameleon yourself into her trees,
Bite a piece of her fruit and then leave the rest hanging crooked
This is an apology to every woman that I changed colours to get inside of.
You see, I still haven’t stumbled across the definition of man
But I know that we are hotels that stand a million war stories tall
I know that we carry guitar cases full of phobias hoping we can turn fear into our strongest instrument,
I know, that our hands break things just as frequent as we fix them…
And we often forget that sexism is a family heirloom that we’ve been passing down for generations.
As men, it’s important that we start asking ourselves…
What will the boys learn from us?
Rudy Francisco is the 2009 National Underground Poetry Slam Champion, the 2010 San Diego Grand Slam Champion, the 2010 San Francisco Grand Slam Champion and the 2010 Individual World Poetry Slam Champion.