I wrote this poem about healing through our mothers, particularly from the pain of sexism and racialized gender violence.
If I could, I’d give you eyes in the back of your headsTo watch your backsAnd protect your skullsWhen bullets are aimed at themBecause you look just like the midnight sky
I sit in my living room,My legs folded beneath meA blanket wrapped around my shouldersHundreds of books on the walls,AndI wonder how much of my motherRests between the pages she’s turnedAnd the ones she’s filled with her own sorrows and triumphs
I have always had an affinity for wordsOnes that ask of you“Open your mouth wideAnd shout my syllables to the sky as if you are calling down thunderstorms.”
I have beenMany places inside lovePockets and cornersWhere insecurities hideCowering behind thinly veiledEmotional traumasExacting their violent revengesOn young girls.
I love the way my name soundsAs it’sFalling off cracked lipsAnd crashing to the coldUnyielding ground belowCratering its surfaceAnd burrowing itself intoThe fiery coreOf this dying earth
I have turned into the sunFlashes of heat waftthrough my body,up the length of my chest,and burst through my twoaged lips to warm the day.As my breasts reach down to the earththey dance along thelength of my stomach,the two pieces of fleshrelearning each other,and the space to lovegrowing cell by cell around my ribs.
Respectability has known me Since I knew my father He’d always told us Our bodies were things to hide Things only loose women gave away Women who represented the worst Our color had to give And then one day in Martin Luther King Jr. Library Dressed in brown corduroys, a long-sleeve blue shirt And aContinue reading “Privilege”
When you have known only Blackness your whole lifeAs I haveWhen it has been written on your birth certificateCelebrated in your homeTaught in your classrooms—That long historyMarred by half a millennia ofTurmoil and trauma
My daddy is so BlackThat the night bleeds into his skinHis hands turn to dark oaksEach burnt fingerExtending from arms as coldAnd onyx as forest earth