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Bold Brown Skin

Updated: Apr 23, 2020

Hair poked through my skin

Charting it's way through places it hadn't yet settled

A pioneer organism claiming its territory 

On my childish legs

Chubby stomach 

Rolled around and hugged my lips 

As I shrugged away from its embrace 

Committed acts of violence against the thick black that my mother, and hers 

passed down to us 

When they told us white was beauty

And our deep brown skin too bold to suit their eyes 

A skin they'd rather see sizzle under bleach creams and lighteners 

I plucked and waxed and shaved

Erasing the brownness from myself 

I knelt at their feet and asked 

"Am I beautiful?"

But they saw what couldn't be removed

Smelled the coriander and cloves in my blood

Saw the quiet of the desert in my eyes 

Felt the solitude of our women in my palms 

I was not dainty 

I was not the innocence of white 

I was not broken 

I was beautiful 

My vision took me far past the self hatred they'd injected into my blood 

Drained myself dry until I saw only truth 

I was brown 

I was lovely 

I was beautiful 

And they,

They were wrong. 

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1 Comment


nicolexgrennan
nicolexgrennan
Mar 28, 2020

Genius 🥀 Love the coriander line, you're beautiful and so are your words

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