May 1, 2020

A Message for the Haters: You don’t even Know Me.

“So much hate for doing nothing.”

Days into meeting the man who would become my fiancé, he remarked that it’s unreal how much hate I receive from people I’ve never met, for simply living.

I rolled my eyes, and carried on. No one has had my life. So, how could they even begin to understand? It’s easy to hate. I’ve learned to disregard most of what comes out of the mouths of the fearful and ignorant. It’s all irrelevant.

Family breaks all rules. Family is relevant. Even their pain, rather, especially their pain.

Distance is a wild thing. The shuffle in time and space lately has given me the chance to reckon with something I’ve wrestled with and protested much during the past couple years. Someone in my fiancé’s family hates me.

She has never met me. We have never been face-to-face. We have never heard each other’s voices. Being hated by her inspired anger I didn’t know where to place—until I read Michelle Obama‘s Becoming.

“It’s harder to hate up-close,” she said.

I understood instantly that the very distance that separated us made way for hate to flow. I also understood then that going high when they go low is most difficult, because it puts us on a path that contradicts the laws of physics and gravity.

As I explored this path that defies gravity, I breathed into spaces I never knew existed.


A poem to you, who hate me.

You have never met me face-to-face,
but your deposits of hate and fear
are evidence that I am linked to
your life in ruins.

You have never met me face-to-face,
So the laws don’t serve to validate
your fears
And so they go rogue
fanning hatred into wildfire.

Someone is laughing
but that person isn’t me.

You hate me
for the destruction
the ashes
and the fog
that trace the tracks
of where love once was
You’ve become
a ghost town.

I have never met you
but through the fog that seized
our higher selves
your hatred lands
with echoes
of my wounds

I used to only write like this
when I was in love
but I’m not in love with being
this way

I don’t know
how else to hold space
for your mourning
but to mourn
with you

You need love
more than lovers do

I have that
for you

But I am not your lover
nor your enemy
But as long as you attach to me
I can be the safer party
to hate

Because hating me
doesn’t require you
to dismantle your life
the way you would
if you looked into the eyes of
you dared to love

I am safe
for you to hate

I have never made a habit of stocking up
on hate
so I don’t have
that sort of thing
to give back to you

I am safe
for you to hate
because distance
makes it
Because my face is not there
to map out your guilt.

I am uncomplicated
to hate

So don’t clog up more space with hatred
pour it out here
lessen your own

Depravity makes slaves of us all

Freedom is to remain open enough
to believe
perhaps with less hatred
there is at last, the possibility
to locate joy

And that is the magic
that will collapse
the architecture of hatred
that has imprisoned you
for too long.


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