Black. and Woman.

A hundred times too much, a thousand never enough,

So I try to make myself easier for you to digest.

Smaller, lighter, sharper lines around my silhouette,

I want to fit myself into a neat, little package,

More convenient to carry.

I pull back my edges and fold in my curves,

And try not to walk like I carry an entire civilization on my back.

You say,

You’re so sad, black woman.

You would be too if, from the ripe old age of 6

You were conditioned to talk less black, and act less woman.

Taught that you were a double punishment from God,

And because you were born with both sins on your shoulders, you have to work

Three times as hard just to be as human as they are.

You say,

You’re so angry, black woman.

But… how the fuck do you expect me to feel?

I’m a perpetual symbol, an act of defiance,

Constant barrage of questions meeting futile pleas to be understood –

No, we’re not all the same. Yes, we are at the bottom of the food chain.

Like my Black brothers my very body is a crime but

Apparently I have to apologise for having a sex drive,

And you love to ask me why my hair does what it does,

When did wearing it the way it grows out of my head become such a

Revolutionary act anyway and it’s truly incredible,

After all of the effort put into facelifting your ignorance

All you have to say to me is

You’re so loud, black woman.

(Funny – somehow he still managed not to hear me all those times I said no)

You say,

You’re so lonely, black woman.

You say,

Aren’t you tired, black woman?

These bones grown weary with all the weight of Black and Woman on them but

Still, I am more than enough.

I am –

So much gravity behind this soft skin.

I carry the heavens on my eyelids,

Hell in the spaces between my teeth.

I am –

Creation, faith and forever.

The heat from my breasts agitates you,

The sound of my breath makes you squirm in your seat,

I am –

Shape shifting.

I hold up the edge of the earth,

This violently persistent heart runs and runs and runs,

I am –

The cracks in the ground,

Good luck charms hanging upside down,

My thighs protect the world from my disruption,

My lips are laced with the truest version of history,

I am –

Largely,

I am –

Entirely,

I am –

Deliberately,

Bravely,

Dangerously

Black. and Woman.

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