for every dark girl who ever found her skin to be a burden she could not lift

when i open my mouth,

i’m never able to form a set of words

around my tongue,

pluck out the letters from my teeth,

smoothen out the syllables of this borrowed language,

that can make

my closed heart

thaw:

you see,

i have become accustomed to this world’s rejection.

i look for mirrors and pens

that allow me to be seen

and felt

because i’m not sure

if i’m even worthy

of this

emptiness.

i’m not sure.

not sure if this old bridge that runs across my back

can hold up any longer.

this bridge of unpolished wood,

filled with nails and splintered pieces,

covered with a moss

you can’t find on this side of a broken, bleeding ocean

i’ve never seen.

what can be done,

when the entirety of your landscape,

a landscape filled with obsidian that has been

raided

and stolen

and raped from

finds that

there’s no more you left to take?

when you know an explosion is coming

and you don’t take shelter,

what does that make you?

when you know you can’t hold down

the fire you swallowed upon your birth any longer,

will the heat burn the dirt & melanin away?

when the waters start to brew

and you can no longer be soothed,

can you be blamed when the levees break?

when the cassava stewed in the palm oil

that soaked into your very pores molding you

no longer nourishes,

why aren’t you worried?

By Maya Finoh, Contributor

All Images via Google Images

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