Dear White Women,

Please don’t sit on me. // The first time a white woman sat on me / was in high school at Taco Bell. / Katy Van Ness plopped down in my lap. / He’s mine, she said, about a boy who had been buzzing around. Stay away. / I was compact and brown with long black hair and eyebrows outside the lines. / Is this a joke?, I thought. But still, I kept away. // The second time a white woman sat on me— / yes, again— / was in higher education. / A FEMINIST QUEER DECOLONIAL professor dropped down on my thigh, / hovering first above, / then grazing my left leg. / We were celebrating someone’s tenure, / and she wanted to sit next to my friend. / So she claimed my spot THAT I WAS ALREADY SITTING IN, / and I froze because another white woman had / —non-consensually— / placed her body on mine, / presumed I’d anticipate desire by ceding ground. // The third time a white woman sat on me— / Now it’s a pattern.— / was at Disney. / Blonde matriarch smoooooshed me down a bench on the Mark Twain ferry / so her adult daughters could join her / She just sat on me?, I said, but as a question because / I couldn’t believe that this had happened yet again. / My little girls huddled on the floor, while I stood, / waiting for an answer. // Dear white women, do not sit on me. / My brown body is taking up space. / This is me taking back place. / Christopher Columbus did not discover America, / and I will not yield to the colonizer’s comfort. / As earth is my witness, / I will not move again for ass.

Mari Ramler (she/her; Twitter @mari_ramler; just finished her novel-in-verse, Losing Jesus in Music City. Obviously, she doesn’t hang out with divinity in Nashville anymore, but she still teaches, as an Associate Professor of English, at Tennessee Tech University.

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