Imagining Freedom

Poetry as scream, balm, and tool.
By Mariame Kaba

I am not a poet. Nikky Finney, Audre Lorde, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Pat Parker are. I started writing poetry when I was eleven years old. My poems were melodramatic diatribes about poverty, homelessness, and war. I was a strange kid who grew into a weird adult who is not a poet but reads, loves, and still occasionally writes poems in her journal.

I am an organizer: a prison abolitionist who wants to see black people, my people, free. To achieve this goal, we need imagination. Poetry helps me to imagine freedom.

It is possible    ...    
It is possible at least sometimes    ...    
It is possible especially now
To ride a horse
Inside a prison cell
And run away...
— From The Prison Cell by Mahmoud Darwish