Ariana Brown – “Instead”

I want something instead of beauty so I will not describe the white girl as beautiful. Her hands were not gloved and her hair not coiffed as a Southern debutante, her mouth not dainty, the color in her cheeks not rosy, her dress not made of lace and smelling of mint or lavender, her eyes not the inside of the sea, her name not the language I wish to swathe myself in, her socks not trimmed with gems, her silhouette not the grand god I pray to, her voice not echoing as a high-pitched note from piano in the moment when she unbolted her five year old lips and called my five year old self a “nigger”. I want something instead of pain so I will not describe my mother’s rage on the way home from the daycare as painful. I will not say that white girls think me a monster when I don the garments, inhabit the spaces, play with the toys made for them, I will not say I learned to stand stiller than air, though not still enough to disappear, will not say I envied the carpet for going unnoticed, that I wished again to know my father, to have a partner in this, that I began to touch my hair whenever I felt lonely, that I fidgeted between Mom’s legs as she pulled the brush over my crown while yelling, that years later I searched for every translation of the word to know always when I am being spoken about, to manage the danger of being born in this body. What I mean is I did not always understand. That day, I did not understand so well, that I did not move, not once from the spot, until I was told.

31 thoughts on “Ariana Brown – “Instead”

  1. Beautiful…This poetry is beautiful and remember so are you ❤

  2. That was beautiful Arianna. We need a silent snap emoji! Well done!

  3. Beautiful is not a prefect word to describe this is a profound piece.

  4. Let me catch the mother fucker that decided to put a thumbs down because this poem is beautiful and if your to close minded to realize true beauty then your going to have a shitty life!

  5. "To manage the danger of being born in this body" just wow. It's just crazy how far we've come, but if you're born in this time you really can't imagine it being much worse and America being livable to a certain degree. Poetry is the perfect artform to express these things, I've been writing poetry for almost 10 years. Performing like this isn't as easy as it seems, writing like this isn't as easy as it seems. Getting recognition in a time of meaningless music is so hard. I've had a Youtube channel for about 2 years and still nothing. I've given up so many times in the past. It's my time speak to the world.

  6. is anyone else bothered by how quiet that applause was???? that poem was stunning.

  7. I know it's unrealistic to build a reliable opinion about someone from their artistic output but I swear, I have the BIGGEST crush on her!

  8. This audience sounds about white and racist. That applause was so weak.
    What a beautiful and powerful piece!

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