Forged In Darkness

I hope one day you fall for a black girl
So you can watch as she builds herself
From the bones of slave ships
And the ghosts of freedom riders
Into a mold that doesn’t fit right
Like a mannequin with missing pieces
She’s just a body
With no soul
That’s how they’ll try to justify tearing her down
That’s what they’ll whisper to themselves at night
While she swings in the distant firelight
As she suffocates
Inhaling the ashes of ancestors dead and forgotten
Because hashtags weren’t invented yet
And you’ll watch as bricks crumble and foundations cave
And she falls
And she’ll pick herself up from the rubble and she’ll start again
And she’ll not ask for help
For you have no place there

I hope one day you fall for a black girl
So you can see the disbelief in her eyes when you tell her she is beautiful
Because beauty is for white girls
And she ain’t never been no white girl
She’s never seen springtime in her own eyes
And innocence in her own hands
No she is bitter corners and twisted roots
She is strange fruit hanging in that white man’s lawn
All freak show
And no beauty
This world wasn’t made to be kind to the likes of her
The light is a fickle jealous creature
That’s why beauty forged in darkness is forged in secret

I hope one day you fall for a black girl
And you can see the power in her
That you can see that worlds were built
Civilizations were built
Upon her shoulders
So that you can see them strip the royalty from her blood
Until all that remains is a skeleton wrapped in shackles
And a sense of faded greatness
So that you can see all the doubt seared upon her soul
Because though she is strong enough,
Powerful enough, to bear the ills of the world
Is she powerful enough to shoulder her own pain?

How To Befriend a Brown Girl: Part 2

On things not to say:
“I wish my skin was a dark as yours.”
“I wish I could tan so easily.”
“You’re such a pretty color.”
“What are you? Like what are you mixed with? It’s so pretty.”
“I totally want to have mixed babies. They’re the cutest.”
Inhale. Exhale.
My brown skin is not a fashion statement.
It’s not a fad.
Why do you keep applying beauty only to aspects of my being
Like why is only my hair pretty
Or just my skin is pretty
Or just my lips are pretty
But I’m not just pretty?
Why am I only pretty because I’m mixed with something else?
Your willingness to procreate with a person of color does not get you invited to the barbecue
We are not accessories.
Brown babies are not accessories.
BROWN BABIES ARE NOT ACCESSORIES.
You can have brown friends, brown babies, good intentions and still be part of the problem
I can’t peel my skin from my body and change into something less brown
Something more comfortable
I can’t alter my soul and suppress my culture
I can’t shed my skin like a coat
So stop treating the color of my skin like some trend
I AM NOT A STATEMENT
I am not your ally card
I am more than your token
I am not en vogue
Loving myself isn’t avant garde
It should not be an act of war
But I will fight that battle
In hopes that one day there will be no war

How To Befriend a Brown Girl: Part 1

(working title)

On Hair:
  1. Don’t ask to touch my hair as you’re touching my hair.
  2. Don’t touch my hair.
  3. Don’t ask to touch my hair.
  4. Don’t ask if my hair is real.
  5. Don’t ask how I get my hair to look so pretty.
  6. Don’t ask what I’m mixed with because my hair is so pretty.
  7. Don’t tell me you wish you could have hair like mine.
  8. Don’t.
Your fingers in my hair without my consent or expressed permission
Is like a statement that black bodies are akin to amusement parks
That America’s history of disregarding black bodies is lost on you and will continue to be so
Chains. Whips. Water hoses. Dogs. Eurocentric ideas of beauty and now your fingers in my damn hair.
Our bodies have never been ours.
They have only been whatever you choose to make of them.
They have never merited kindness and care.
A stranger putting their hands on you without your consent
Is assault
Except when it comes to black hair and black bodies
I’m only beautiful when you’re around to see it
I’m only pretty when you’re around to tell me
Even my love for myself and my blackness is offensive to you
I can only love myself in ways that you approve.
In secret and in whispers
Because black girls are too rowdy
We’re too angry
We’re a handful
We’re too much
Too much
And not enough
I am not enough for you to view my body as my sanctuary
My hair as my glory
Not enough to prevent you from violating sacred ground
To claim for your amusement.
I am too much
And not enough
Not enough to keep your fingers out of my damn hair.

Does She Know?

Does she know
That the hands she holds possessively
Were once wrapped tightly around this throat
Tangled in ebony waves
Grasping bed sheets
While that mouth she kisses tenderly
Set flame to brown flesh
Whispered exclamations of need into sensitive ears and
Pleaded for all I could give?

Does she know
That your body does not belong only to her
That I detonated the desire in your core before she even knew your name?

Does she know
That these lips had you spent and gasping my name
Only to be devoured by you
With your taste still upon my tongue?

Does she know
You like the way you taste on my lips
On my skin?

Does she hope
To eradicate every thought of me
Every memory
Every touch
sigh
moan
and gasp?

Does she hope
To be enough to make you forget me
To take my place?

She may have usurped my throne temporarily
But, baby, you can’t forget me
And pretending won’t remove my crown. 

Suicide Note: Another Rough Draft

Here I am again
Writing a letter I’ll never send
And likely never finish
Attempting to justify that which we do not name
I am unraveling
S l o w l y
I am coming apart
I have seen better days than these
But I am unimpressed
I’m holding out for a new tomorrow
A better day
But life ain’t been no crystal stair
And better days don’t exist in this place
And tap tap goes the blood drop
On the pretty bathroom floor
Tick-tock goes the clock, as feet dangle from the door
And my brain says, “Do it.”
“You’d be happier dead.”
“Doesn’t that blade look so pretty covered in red?
And doesn’t it feel so good to close your eyes
Knowing you won’t have to wake up to say goodbye?”
But I delay
I postpone
I keep looking to tomorrow
The promise of tomorrow
I just need to make it through today

Suicide Note: A First Draft

I’ve written this in my head hundreds of times
And I’ll never send it
But I keep writing it
Pouring my soul into words
Never meant to be read
An explanation of my grievances against existing
Against my brain’s inability to function without medications designed to turn me into a walking zombie
With false smiles
False moods
Until I forget who I am
But the alternative is worse
Numbness and pain
And a dark gaping hole in my soul
And I can’t breath for the weight of expectations
of responsibility
of living
And I wasn’t made to thrive in the light
So I must fight the darkness
Lest it consume me.
But sometimes
Sometimes the numbness
The darkness
Is a relief