i’m all smiles. (afterthoughts…)

(truth. creative commons.)

in this skin that’s wrong 
in this skin that is chased 
in this skin that is followed
in every store from entrance to exit
in this skin that makes you cross streets
clutch purses
and hold your kids
and you avoid my eyes
that see right through you
covered in black skin
the media has sold as evil
that needs lessons
taking care of
and i’m not crashing
i’m not burning
i’m not falling apart 
not in your care
not caring
i am not your fire 
that needs your extinguisher

i am not trouble
i am not in trouble

that you created
that you seem to enjoy making
because of this skin

in this skin
that exists without understanding
this skin that you won’t let free
this skin that refuses another leash
that makes weapons out of concrete
in self defense

how do i replace this skin
this skin 
that haunts you
oppresses you
angers you
torments you
it’s just skin
with so much power
to expose your own evils

and he leers in me / the corner of his lip turning / in disgust / darkness / in the corner of his eyes / showing his teeth / i’m almost unnerved / almost / my great granddad / rifle in hand / daring any white man to steal his land /indignant / intentional / defiance

i am defiance 
in this black skin
i am power

by all means
i shouldn’t be here
if we’re all who they say we are
oh, so poor
i shouldn’t be here

his leer turns into lust / in his hey day / i’d be on my back / choking on black pride / his white penis fucking me into this race obedience / ought to know better / ought to know my place / i should be taught my place

oh, so poor

and i am defiance
in a blazing fire
i will not be put out
i must be put to death

and if i have to meet my death
with white hands holding my life in between white fingers
i will die trying to live
because black men are not thugs
because black women are not whores
because black children are not future criminals
because black babies are loved
and i will not be put out
we should all be dead
and we’re not
there is power in this skin

i’ll play by the rules
until there are no more rules

and when you break all the rules that you make
i have been trouble
i have been targeted 
i have been followed 
i have been made a criminal in my innocence
i have been oppressed 
i have been overpowered
i have walked away
forced migration
to exist
on my own
in a skin that’s wrong
and i have been all smiles
one day
i won’t be

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