by Anne Hambuda
I wish I could tell you
what I wrote about you in my diary.
the words curved around the tip of my tongue
and dripped down,
filling the pages where my love stories have died,
where my tears have dried,
I’ve tried to hide.
Finding solace in Em’s sweet grasp,
she nurses you, and heals you, and holds your hand.
Her hand a firm, steady, warmth that feels like home.
Where the best memories are woven.
Woven, like the strands of other,
onto the heads of sister, auntie, mother.
Till the whole world is living the ideal preferred version of he.
Till our reflections are washed white,
washed out colors of a struggle,
Of a people,
Washed out like your own melanin,
washed out as you try to fit in,
try to fight the oppressor,
while you worship their skin.
And are ashamed of your own, as you curse your women for being darker,
or having kinky hair
as if natural is in fact something that is unnatural for us.
But we don’t see our own downfall,
our own descent into the oblivion of a world that has countries powerful enough to end the suffering of every single human,
but choose not to.
Like how we can end the white out, bright out, of our own identity,
but choose not to.
Because melanin is in me,
in my soul and in my skin,
but we are only truly happy in it when we fit in.
Fit in to a group that has tried to keep us out for so long.
Fit in to a group that tried to keep us down,
but we’re strong.
While they say we’re uncultured,
when they’re the one who scrambled for our continent like vultures.
And behind closed doors you pull your hair straight,
disrupting the kink,
to how you were made.
So I wish I could tell you what I wrote about you in my diary.
The words will break your heart
and kiss the bruises all at once
and you will feel the scars
every time you don’t love
the very fact that very specific brown skinned queens and kings
had to come together at certain times it seems,
in certain ways to create you in all your excellence.
Because you are no accident.
Because I wrote the truth about you.
You are magnificent,
you are beautiful beyond any words that this world can create,
because why trust a planet of people
to create a word perfect enough to describe your very essence,
Still haven’t figured out how to stop babies dying at the teats of their mothers,
crying on empty bellies with their brothers,
on this here continent,
we claim we’re proud of.
I wrote the truth about you.
I wrote that we might be broken,
That you might be broken.
And that you might forget it, but you are beautiful.
And that in your chocolate skin,
You Are Everything.