We are born of parents and the times, and we live lives of freedom and preordained constraint (arguably). Thou shall not make excuses. Born the daughter of African and Caribbean immigrants in Britain, queer poet Omotara James earned her MFA from New York University, is a fellow of Lambda Literary, was twice nominated for Pushcart Prizes, and counts Poetry Magazine, The Paris Review, and The Academy of American Poets as journals in her quiver of published works.
My parents’ Black was a triangle,
Which was only ever two-thirds possible. In it
You can be Black and flawed,
But you can’t be redeemed. If you are flawed,
Seek redemption, unless you be Black. You can be
Redeemed if you be Black, but then you better not flaw.
This was the model handed down to me, but
What is a paradigm in the hands of an artist?
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