India Brown

Destiny DeFINEd

she never occupied the same

womb as I, we never hopscotched/skinned knees,

double/dutched/played hide and go seek/

but we have the same blood



the ink scrawled across scraps of paper

at our desks, leaking through dozens

of notebooks. warming the cool side

of our pillows and prayers whispered across

cotton sheets witness to my dirty laundry,

but bearer of what makes                clean;

she is iron sharpening wrinkles.


no passive participants

fights for our sisterhood

decries no new friends

1/3 joking, the rest

she meant it


destined for this.

we have the same Father

our blood types, His.


when it rains

she has our umbrella

otherwise we both run for it.

her tears are a reflection of mine,

her laughter, an echo. We did not grow

up together, but she is my sister by God’s

command. The promise is still

the promise.

India “DeFINEd” Brown is a graduate of The Ohio State University. She made it out of Dayton, Ohio, and then she came back home. In 2014 DeFINEd won the annual African American Heritage Festival Poetry Slam at OSU. She then published her book, “Shhh…” in March 2015, a poetic memoir of the things she was never supposed to say but spoke on anyway. In 2016 she released a chapbook called Questions of Blackness for the Dolezal’s of the world who keep asking ’em with her favorite of 2016 being “Dear Becky with The Good Hair”.