White Spaces

This is how to place you in the space in which to see
—Layli Long Soldier, “Ȟe Sápa”


All day I move from one white space to another.

Today, ranked from whitest to least white: my classroom (as a teacher), my
classroom (as a student), my apartment, Kung Fu Tea.

Yesterday: the library, Target, Kroger, my apartment.

In my duplex, I sleep beside a white person, and two more are below me.

The party I attended last weekend was a white space.

I promise myself to say “white” more, even when it discomforts me.

The word almost always trembles no matter who says it.

My commute looks neutral, but I remind myself I live in a city, a country
that loves whiteness.

I watch a white person say “white” like a hole they must not fall into.

I watch the hole in the conversation where “white” was not said.

In white spaces where I am the authority, I question whether I really have

Even the spaces around words have already been filled with whiteness.

The more distance, the more whiteness, and vice versa.

White reader, see how much space you must leap over to see me?