We play pretend as vampires,
never letting the sun kiss our skin.
Falling weary and tired
of hopeless attempts to win.
And dance in the rain of a thousand showers
to scrape off the spices in our scents,
until our skin is dry, flaky flour.
Sins for which we repent.
We’re secret agents in our hoodies
to hide our oiled scalps,
Grinning over lunchtime goodies
until they point and laugh.
We act like we are princesses
even though we do not qualify,
Clamping flat irons and ripping wax strips
so for us, beauty still can apply.
Tweeze, thread, clean, nitpick each place
We kill ourselves to be a choice
of men who recoil at the thought of our race
So we die before we can rejoice.
Wrapped in vibrant fabric, choked by deadly chains,
decorated in silver and gold, stained with trauma and pain,
we fail to be a standard in a world where we’re untouchable.
We sail through streams of tears from years of feeling so unlovable.
But in our misery we fail to recognize our royalty,
Of bodies, that we may despise, but that hold love and loyalty
And generations, centuries, of culture, beauty, grace.
What a shame we ever feel like we have nothing to embrace.