Woke

Venus Davis

\ˈwōk \
woker; wokest

chiefly US slang
: aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and
social justice)

People with skin like printer paper
will try to hide behind the facade
of being woke on the internet.

From their “abolish ice” display names
on twitter to their “black lives matter” tweets.
Their retweets and likes and shares and
digital blackface and AAVE wannabes.

Milliseconds of activism to cover up for a
lifetime and current time of disregard for voices
that come from folx raging with melanin
who can never have the choice to “turn off”
their activism because they were born into
skin that will always be seen as radical.

You can hate cops all the you want and you can type
from barely calloused fingertips that you hate injustice
but you will never know injustice
through your gated community house’s windows.
You will never be sent home for the way your afro puffs..
You will never be labeled as aggressive for existing.

When will you learn that buzzwords don’t make up for terror?
You are not woke because you don’t actively hate minorities.
You are woke because you use your voice and stand up for them
and you keep that energy.

Venus Davis is a 21-year-old queer writer from Cleveland, Ohio. They are the editor in chief of Periwinkle Literary Magazine. They are a former poetry reader for Random Sample Review and Gordon Square Review. Their work has been featured in Marias at Sampaguitas, Royal Rose Magazine, Ayaskala, Crepe & Penn, and many other publications. They are the author of Sensitive Divination, an astrology microchapbook as well as the microchapbooks, Blue and @ngel number(s).  You can find them on social media @venusbeanus, twitter.com/venusbeanus, and instagram.com/venusbeanus.

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