shadowed pride

Her history casts shadows on her perception, painting her a darker shade of bark than the Aspen trees around her.
She is growing up in a White world,
Looking at White girls with blonde hair and baby blue eyes,
Looking up to guys with pale complexions and White reflections.

She has been alive for five years and only seen similarities when her family meets.
…Only on her Dad’s side where they glow dark like moonlit skies,
Casting midnight shadows upon Her lightness.
She has never…enjoyed…nights but,
She notices the difference between carmel complexions and cocoa covered bodies.

On the other side,
She notices how her hair curls tighter than her baby cousins.
She notices that loving comes in the form of beauty.
Beauty that is handmade and that came in bottles and creams.
She notices she cannot share makeup because it looks
And feels
More like and erasure than a mask.
She begins to mask her differences by straightening her hair everyday before middle school.

13 now,
She’s in between life stages like her skin tone sits on a saturation dial,
Tuning out the hues that color her heavy history.

She does not yet know that Black can be beautiful.
She has not yet been told her Golden skin glistens with the Light of one thousand suns.

She is not charcoaled
Or used.
She was started to lose sense of her past when,
At last,
At 22 she finds harmony.

Black activists raising their fists and she is actually
With it.

It is un-tainting her vision of dark skin wearing beaten fists, badly.
Like how she so badly wanted to scream hate to her fathers boasting chest but couldn’t because she’s had a

With her newly found pride she sees…
Her history is not celebrating
It is her,
Finally owning her own skin.


When you’re feeling some typuh way.

The clouds are hanging low above me.
They make it seem like heaviness is not only found in this heart beat,
Like these feet are not the only ones tires of carrying weight too heavy for their strength but,
Either way,
The clouds and I are both too stubborn to cry today.
Tears remain locked behind eyelids the same as rain gets stuck in these sulking clouds.
The wind will blow them over me but,
I am pretty solid on my feet.
The golden leaves agree with me.
They glow in harmonies and blow off branches gracefully but,
My mood changes with the breezes.
Now there are plenty of reasons for gloom as we become doomed for winter.
There are just as many crumpled up leaves by my tripped up feet as there are anxieties in me.
I am riddled with reminders of how deep into darkness my mind can go when left alone too long,
Especially in the long hours of darkness that snow seems to bring but,
For now,
I’m blowing through my high days,
Driving down these high ways the only way I know how.
Moving is the only thing that makes me feel light,
Like the Sun’s warmth on my back disappearing,
I am always leaving but,
I’ve been feeling eerily similar to post winter mud puddles seeping through canvas shoes.
I’ve used up a lot of my springy energy and it seems these clouds above me float effortlessly even though they fall heavy.
I long for that sort of comfortability in falling.
I wish for that sort of strength to float through my own rain.
This heart beats so stressfully,
It beats down on me.
Pounding me for every time I’ve traced love songs into someone else’s skin only for them to be tuned out again by my own wandering curiosity.
This heart beat is punishing me.
One pump for every heart I’ve ever made heavy.
One pump for every time I could not find a home for their love.
One pump after another trying to wipe myself clean of these selfish memories I have made for myself.
One pump and,
Creatively I stand,
Desperately wondering if this come and go history is still defining me.
One solid pump and,
Maybe my love karma will be washed clean.

When I open my pedaled fingers you will see compliments on my palms.
You will see fingers of two curious hands gracing innocently then,
You will see the not so g-rated version of me underneath.

I have a memory-cage where my rib-cage used to be.
It is formed by flattery from when girls were so sweet to me>
When girls
So sweet to me

It is all sour.
It is blistered bitterness from Suns who licked my leaves with too much heat and left me to burn slowly.
It is freckles of fear from sunlight because I did not yet know darkness.
I did not yet know this feeling of grief that sits with me from weeks of no contact-
From there being no dirt beneath my Lansing rooted feet-
No lover’s skin pressed to my palms.
Admiration inspires me.
Desire drives me.

I am craving honeycombed company.
Someone whose buzz doesn’t bother me so we can both stick around,
I am waiting for the symphony of someone sweeping me off of my feet
Like feathers falling gently to the forest floor next to us,
Come blossom with me.