Black Girls

black girls don’t get to be beautiful

black girls get to be strong but only out of necessity

see,

we’re taught that we don’t deserve much in this world, told to stiffen our upper lips and shut up

led to believe we’re nothing more than thick butts, wide hips and our black babies that get shot

pigeon holed into a box we’ve never fit in constantly made the butt of jokes but rarely ever the ones laughing

i guess it is kinda funny when all I hear is

go on girl I don’t care about your thoughts or opinions I just need someone sassy to chill with, someone to teach me how to dance so I don’t look stupid

honey, you still look stupid.

listen,

my skin may look as tough as worn leather but it is as soft as melting butter

it breaks easily,

trust me, i know.

there was a time when all i did was burn my arms with lighters and dig my fingers into my skin

there was a time when all i did was cry and carve the words remember over and over again

look,

i want to forget

i want to forget ever feeling so ugly but that is all I know and how can you unlearn everything?

i’m waiting for when girls with dark skin and thick hair finally get to beautiful

not exotic or different or some asterisked kind of pretty, some strange kind of wonderful

I don’t want to teach you how to say my name I jus want to make sense

and I’m sorry my existence confuses you so much

but here’s the thing, black girls are more than apologies.

when you are born with skin as dark as obsidian you learn how to make homes in shadows

you learn how to clench your jaw, stiffen your spine and carefully dodge mirrors and people’s facial expressions

when you are born with skin like mine you are only visible in just the right light, in just the right eyes and isn’t it exhausting to be so hard to find?

don’t you get tired of constantly shouting i’m here, i’m right here and I’ve been here the whole time!!!

and the only reason you don’t notice me is because you choose to not really see me

apparently,

my body is only noticeable when you are distancing yourself from it, making it the punchline of some joke or looking for things to borrow

i’ve spent my entire life as “the black girl” so you can see why it feels like that is all i have to offer

always black girl first and everything else after

i’ve spent my whole life being told that i should be ashamed to inhabit this dark skin, this thick body

spent my whole life being taught to believe that there is shame in blackness

if i’m being honest, there was a time when I truly believed that

if i’m being honest, there are days that i still do

black girls like me don’t get to be beautiful

we get to be overlooked, disappointed and angry