Olive Oil

Olive Oil

Caseena Karim


my grandmother prays

to a man pale enough

for a public to adore


she tells me,

whats mine is yours

as she takes olive oil

and paints a cross

on my forehead


something i will not

think much about until

I lean on my lovers breast


crying as a white man

is made the figurehead

of this country where

the intersections of my identity

don’t align with Gods trinity


where the ideals of a man

who incites violence

are seen as heroic


where blood is bleached

until it is white again

white on white on white

until America is great again


my queer body

juts out in white spaces

as white gazes tell me

to try and blend in


just like my grandmother

pressed olive oil

into my forehead


into my skin. 


This poem was created after the election of Trump, the day that America decided it was okay that my life, the life of my girlfriend, my family, and my community did not matter. I grew up trying to achieve a standard of beauty, or rather a standard of whiteness that I could never achieve, praying to a white man who could never answer my problems. We need to break this violent cycle of whitewashing, and replace it with images that strive for queer and trans people of color excellence, we need a platform for our voices to be heard and a space to just be. The change I want to see more immediately is for all of my loved ones to have the priviledge of a happy life.  

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This poem is about: 
My family
My community
My country
Our world


Caseena Karim

I want to create more media that reflects beauty that is not the eurocentric norm. We think that this election is the start of something horrible, but this cycle has been happening for so many years, and we all failed to see it. Colonization has us all brainwashed, whitewashed and striving for a standard we can never reach, and pushing our fellow QPOC to the edges of society. To that I say, they pushed us into corners and now we must make space. This is my start to that. 

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