What Do You Think When You See Me?


Does my tone offend you?

Calming as the sea but can rush you like the tidal waves

Does it speak for me, louder than my words ever could

Does it show my wants, needs, fear, accomplishments… me?

What do you think when you see it

I never saw such validation

I would’ve just thought it was my actions and experiences that molded me?

Is that how you judge me?

That shade of negra that’ll:

Defend if under attack

Quick to snap if disrespected

Do by any means necessary to get all the worlds’ pleasures and then some

For such luxuries, I’m far too lazy —

Should my auburn match the spiraled strands that extend from my head

Or should they be the natural kink that come straight from mother Africa

— meant to keep my head down and mouth shut

And wear rings that pierce my flesh

Will it prove my value, my place in the world

Tell me what job I deserve

The man who’s destined to be my husband and leader

Confine me to the “right” party — labeled a minority

Tell me I’m beautiful enough or too ugly to make it

My oily skin

My keloid skin

…the acne that spreads upon it

The fine layer that covers my chestnut woman

The clothes that canvas me that you can stereotype me

The music I allow my ears to partake in

…and the swaying of my hips to the rhythm of it

I can already guess your opinion of me

…but I’m too wavy to care

What you think you know, you have no idea

My heart and mind belong to the most high

My feet belong to the sand… dancing along the shore

And my hands belong to a pen and paper

…that’s the skin I wear always.