April 21st: "Sorry"

from “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf”
by ntozake shange

one thing i dont need
is any more apologies
i got sorry greetin me at my front door
you can keep yrs
i dont know what to do wit em
they dont open doors
or bring the sun back
they dont make me happy
or get a mornin paper
didnt nobody stop usin my tears to wash cars
cuz a sorry

i am simply tired
of collectin
     i didnt know
     i was so important toyou’
i’m gonna haveta throw some away
i cant get to the clothes in my closet
for alla sorries
i’m gonna tack a sign to my door
leave a message by the phone
     ‘if you called
     to say yr sorry
     call somebody
     i dont use em anymore’
i let sorry/didnt meanta/& how cd i know abt that
take a walk down a dark & musty street in brooklyn
i’m gonna do exactly what i want to
& i wont be sorry for none of it
letta sorry soothe yr soul/i’m gonna soothe mine

you were always inconsistent
doin somethin & then bein sorry
beatin my heart to death
talkin bout you sorry
i will not call
i’m not goin to be nice
i will raise my voice
& scream & holler
& break things & race the engine
& tell all yr secrets bout yrself to yr face
& i will list in detail everyone of my wonderful lovers
& their ways
i will play oliver lake
& i wont be sorry for none of it

i loved you on purpose
i was open on purpose
i still crave vulnerability & close talk
& i’m not even sorry bout you bein sorry
you can carry all the guilt & grime ya wanna
just dont give it to me
i cant use another sorry
next time
you should admit
you’re mean/low-down/triflin/& no count straight out
steada bein sorry alla the time
enjoy bein yrself


I loved this is high school when I first read it (my favorite part of the play, though, was the story about the girl who read the biography of Toussaint Louverture), and I still love it. I probably love it more now, on account of the guys who have told me “sorry” in between then and now.

2 thoughts on “April 21st: "Sorry"”

  1. Oh, man. Another one of my favorites. I actually read this aloud in my college Voice and Diction class, just because it has such irresistible music to it. I have probably never looked so white, and awkward, in my life.

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