We have chosen each other
and the edge of each other’s battles
the war is the same
if we lose
someday women’s blood will congeal
upon a dead planet
if we win there is no telling
we seek beyond history
for a new and more possible meeting.
Audre Lorde, excerpt of “Outlines”
In the poem included above, civil rights poet, activist, and revolutionary Audre Lorde reminds us of the agency we have in deciding whether to embark on the paradigm-shifting project of seeing and choosing each other across difference and creating the conditions for a “more possible meeting.”
Lorde is speaking to a profound shift that needs to take place within the consciousness of every person in order for contact across difference to even hold the potentiality of genuine (and therefore revolutionary) connection. In “Age, Race, Class and Sex: Women Redefining Difference,” the essay fromwhich I drew the poem, Lorde sets out as a prerequisite to this exchange the task of dismantling “that piece of the oppressor which is planted deep within each of us, and which knows only the oppressors’ tactics, the oppressors’ relationships.”
A More Possible Meeting: Initial Reflections on Engaging (As) the Oppressor,
Yale Hum. Rts. & Dev. L.J.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yhrdlj/vol20/iss1/7