I Choose Love       
“Ade” Anita Johnson

(Written in memory of Bell Hooks – September 25, 1952 – December 15, 2021)

“The moment we choose to love we begin to move towards freedom, to act in ways that liberate ourselves and others.” Bell Hooks – Outlaw Culture: Resisting Representations, 1994


I choose love to guide my way
on the dangerous path away from the patterns of violence, greed, and hate
Move toward freedom that exists in open fields, night skies,
mountain peaks, tiny crevices of an ever-expanding heart
I choose love in the face of the brutal way the world inflicts pain,
disregarding skin, stripping away family, hope, love, knowledge
ignoring the fact that we are human
Rushes to the innocent to cast shadows,
push boulders in the path of those that still manage to believe in multi-colored dreams
and the real possibility that even the caged bird can sing
They think they’ve broken my wings, but I have discovered new ways to fly Taught through
generational layers upon layers upon layers of trauma
to not just survive but thrive
I choose love as a weapon in the revolution
that is aired in surround sound as we watch our fallen daughters and sons go down
oceans believe in our possibility so your arrows will not take us out
even with your constant weight we will not drown
Take off your white sheets and black justice gowns
instead come correct with your real truth, the makeup of a clown
with love we see right through to the actions behind your veiled speak
I choose love but will not turn the other cheek for the sake of the meek
I choose adoration of self, blood, community that allows me to stand in the wake of your hate
love fiercely because I believe that you, me, we were born to be free
I choose love as my path to liberation.
Embrace a combative heart,
a fierce fighter for all parts of me that have been damaged, controlled or beat
A heart that teaches me the way to love
so deeply that your deception, greed, racism and patriarchy
can only skip like rocks making ripples in the stream
never reaching the abundance or wisdom that lies at the bottom of the sea
For those riches belong only to those that choose love furiously


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