For Colored Girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf

Somebody almost walked off wid alla my stuff. Not my poems or dance I gave up in the street, but somebody almost walked off wid alla my stuff like a kleptomaniac workin hard & forgettin while stealin. This is mine; this ain’t your stuff. Now why don’t you put me back & let me hang out in my own self.


Somebody almost walked off wid alla my stuff & didn’t care enuf to send a note home sayin, “I waz late for my solo conversation or two sizes too small for my own tacky skirts.” What can anybody do wit somethin of no value on a open market? Did you getta dime for my things? Hey man, where are you goin wid alla my stuff? This is a woman’s trip & I need my stuff to ohh & ahh about. Daddy, I gotta mainline number from my own shit. Now wontchu put me back and let me play this duet with this silver ring in my nose. 


Honest to God, somebody almost run off wit alla my stuff


And I didn’t bring anything but the kick & sway of it. The perfect ass for my man & none of it is hers. This is mine. Notzake ‘her own things’ that’s my name. Now give me my stuff. I see ya hidin my laugh and how I sit wif my legs open sometimes to give my crotch some sunlight. And there goes my love my toes my chewed up finger nails. Niggah, wif the curls in your hair Mr. Louisiana hot link, I want my stuff back. My rhythms & my voice, open my mouth, & let me talk ya outta throwin my shit in the sewar. This is some delicate leg & whimsical kiss. I gotta have to give to my choice without you runnin off wit alla my shit. 

Now you can’t have me less I give me away & I waz doin all that til ya run off on a good thing. Who is this you left me wit. Some simple bitch widda bad attitude. I wants my things. I want my arm with the hot iron scar and my leg wit the flea bite. I want my calloused feet & quik language back in my mouth. Fried plantains, pineapple pear juice, sun-ra & joseph & jules, I want my own things. How I lived them & give me my memories. How I waz when I waz there. You can’t have them or nothin wit them. Stealin my shit from me, don’t make it yours- makes it stolen. 

Somebody almost run off wit alla my stuff & I waz standin there lookin at myself. The whole time & it wazn’t a spirit took my stuff. Waz a man whose ego walked round like Rodan’s shadow. Waz a man faster in my innocence. Was a lover I made too much room for almost run off wit alla my stuff & didn’t know I’d give it up so quik. And the one running wit it don’t know he got it. My stuff is the anonymous ripped off treasure of the year. Did you know somebody almost got away with me? Me in a plastic bag under their arm, me danglin on a string of personal carelessness. I’m spattered wit mud & city rain & no I didn’t get a chance to take a douche. Hey man, this is not your perogrative. I gotta have me in my pocket to get round like a good woman shd & make the poem in the pot or chicken in the dance. What I got to do I gotta to have my stuff to do it to. Why don’t ya find your own things & leave this package of me for my destiny. What ya got to get from me, I’ll give it to ya. Yeh, I’ll give it to ya around 5:00 in the winter when the sky is blue-red & Dew City is gettin pressed. If it’s really my stuff, ya gotta give it to me. If ya really want it, I’m the only one who can handle it. 

Somebody almost run off wit alla my stuff!”


-Ntozake Shange


(Book: “For Colored Girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf”)

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