Dear Black Woman, Happy AFRIKA Day

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Dear Black woman,

Your smooth chocolate overflows through your veins

Your crimson white teeth shine every time you adjust the circumference of your lips

Your long black hair – thick, coarse and nappy

Your hips curved to an angle no ruler can measure.

The world would be a better place if only you stopped altering magnificence

Why do you try so hard to become the people that placed a price tag on you?

Have you forgotten about that ship, that passage?

About the rancid stench, a stench so strong it could be tasted on the tips of your tongue?

Have you forgotten about your cry for your mother?

Your cry for sunlight? Your cry for death? Your cry for the one next to you to die just so you could move your arm?

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Dear black woman,

Your articulate tone and voluptuous thighs

Your well rounded back

Your luscious eyebrows

Your mesmerizing brown eyes

Eyes that soul not open the window to your own soul

Have you forgotten about standing on that pedestal as if you were a trophy?

With your breasts exposed and pale skinned men tugging on your nipples checking its authenticity?

The world would be a better place if you remembered those lonely nights

the cracked knees, cracked knuckles, cracked bones, cracked spirit?

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Dear Black woman,

Your sexy intelligence

Your musical voice

Your classy physique

The world would be a better place if you stopped allowing Deandre to toss you around

Like bumblebees in July

Have you forgotten your self-worth?

Why do you allow yourself to start another generation, when you aren’t even sure of yours?

Have you forgotten Winnie, Ida, Harriet, and Coretta?

And their aching backs from carrying you around

Why do you betray your own kind, crucifying every tradition you were raised with

You raise your head high and dine with Elizabeth, and enjoy lobster smothered with butter, with just a hint of garlic

When you know you ran home every day to cornbread and fried chicken and heart stopping collard greens swimming in fat

But now you despise the word fat itself, the fact that you are a size 12

 And how your butt protrudes in every pair of jeans

Behaving like a magnet that attracts the hands of pant-sagging male species

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Dear Black woman,

Your elongated arms

Your story telling palms

The world would be a better place if you remembered those palms

Palms that have rough creases from clenching your fists together, from holding on to those prison bars, from picking yourself up and running, from breaking your fall, from clapping

Clapping. Have you forgotten about God?

About Sundays, your dress so stiff, it did not budge at nature’s breath

About Hallujahs and sweat and saliva and screams

But you see now, God has become a client, where meeting days are negotiable

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Dear Black Woman,

Your rich melanin has secret affairs with summer while married to the sun

Your extended eyelashes patter with every blink

Your curls dance with the trees

The world would be a better place if you helped your sister up when she fell down

If you stayed in school instead of becoming a statistic

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Dear Black woman,

The world would be a better place if you stopped altering magnificence, because the change begins with you.

Sincerely,

A black woman.

POEMS FROM DIAMONDFRUIT