Trans-tenacity by Charl Landsberg

Charl Landsberg | May 25th, 2016 | a poem a day challenge, poetry | No Comments

Poet Bio

The oppressor knows the language of victim well.
The bigot knows the art of hurt-
They know the songs of death-
the finality of a wasted breath.
Of course,
the transgender survivor is new to the transphobe,
we, the victims that would not die,
a constant reminder of their sin,
the bodies that would not give in.
Of course they’re afraid,
screaming at us, telling us,
we’re playing the victim card.
If we truly were victims,
they’d see us in the graveyard.
They make up stories,
of what victims should be.
Silent as the grave, quiet as the stone,
we should relent and leave them alone.
Oh their guilt.
Oh their guilt.
Oh their tears.
Watering their mansions with their fears.
Eating food in transphobic halls,
seasoned with the bones of dead trans children.
I mean, after all, why-
-why don’t we just die?
Why do we keep getting up, being alive,
and have the tenacity to survive?
Shouldn’t you be free from guilt,
in your gilded bastions,
free from we who ask,
uncomfortable questions?
After all, my life for your comfort,
what a convenient price.
The poor bigot finally free,
wouldn’t that be nice.

Poet Bio

Charl Landsberg is a transgender poet, artist, musician, writer, and activist from Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu Natal. Their work often focusses on LGBTQIA+, feminist, and race related issues, focussing on a critique of patriarchal, cis- and heteronormative, and colonial and racist abuse.

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