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"I wrote this poem at a time when our country's characteristic brutality (and racism and misogyny and bigotry) was displaying itself with relentless frequency, and we were constantly being asked to be brave, or being lauded for our bravery. When I say 'we,' I suppose I mean black women. It's not just us, but that's the we that I especially belong to. Black women are expected to be strong always, and we so often are. But isn't that exhausting. I was tired, I think, when I wrote this." —Camille Rankine
Camille Rankine is the author of Incorrect Merciful Impulses (Copper Canyon Press, 2016). She teaches at Brown University and Columbia University and lives in New York City.
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