Your name rolls clumsily off their tongue.

They forget to swallow their spit as they laugh

atrociously at the seemingly pathetic piece

They’ve ever seen darker than a brown paper bag.

Your body is not your own. It is not even God’s creation.

It’s no ones temple. But it’s every man’s land.

You’re an object of desire. You. The whole world wants you because of the mask you put on everyday, but not really for you.

Head down, shoulders bent,

Even if you did slick down that wool on top of your head it wouldn’t change the fact that it doesn’t represent a crown of honor.

It’s too much for us.

Straighten up as much as you can, you’ll never be as good as us.

You are every mammy just as you are every jezebel, every sapphire there are.

Bury those other titles to the ground, because we don’t know you (or want to know you) outside of stereotypes and department store windows. We don’t want to know you other than the exceptions we see on television.

We don’t know your struggle and because we can’t empathize with a so called “phenomenal woman” we can’t sympathize with her either.

God holds her throne every time she’s ready to stand on her own.

But the bags she carry screw up the posture that she dares to show to the world.

The legacy of the thickness, the richness of her skin is the only thing that keeps her from caving in.

She does this for the ones in her past, her present and her future.

The bloodlines no one can simply deny.

It’s all for them.