Little Black Girl
Twelve years old,
first day of school,
burn marks on my chest.
I told a story,
that included a science lab
and a chemical spill.
Didn’t include me
religiously appyling bleaching cream
beaming with pride,
from a compliment
on how light I was becoming,
how acceptable i was becoming.
women that look like your mother will tell you
black girls don’t play in the sun.
You will fail their paper bag test,
they will tell you,
you’re the bad version of themselves.
you will spend days
bleaching your skin to perfection.
Little girl smile,
the sun is beating its gold into your skin.
On the day you relax your hair
It will smell like you’re burning.
Beauty is pain
you’ll tuck into your screams
Remembering all the broken combs.
Your body will still
For years, beauty will mean burn marks on your scalp.
your hair is a tree,
Growing to the sun,
Don’t tame it.
Nine years old,
your mother will sit in your classroom
spoon feeding you lunch,
you stopped eating
your thighs rubbed together,
Your butt never fits into anything
fat felt like something disgusting to be.
You will learn,
not everyone is built like the magazine.
Little black girl,
on the day your hips widen and
your breast protrude,
coming into being a women
your every action will be deemed promiscuous.
Men who look like your father
will now find your sex attractive.
Wrapping themselves into your broken places.
Whispering words that feel like glue
but They will tell you they find you hard to love.
So treat your body like a temple
and start to call this temple home.
For there will be men who will love your hard parts to cotton candy,
And teach you to love things that make you love yourself.
Little black girl,
on the day they ask you what you want to be,
free is something valid to want to be.
You can find the mole hill
make it into a mountain
climb it to the clouds
and free yourself.
for all the things you call escape,
little black girl be yourself
with a spirit that’s
stoking a fire
your breathing will sometimes feel like a burning furnice
you will walk this road alone
You will find yourself in the rumble of it all.
You will dust yourself off.
You will love your broken pieces whole.
You will bask in the sun and find your glow.
hold your head high!
its your battle cry,
you’re just a warrior in the making.
if I were to die and come again
a little black girl is what I hope i’d be
Cause falling in love with me is the happiest i’ve ever been.