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Black Woman, Who Are You

My daddy is so Black That the night bleeds into his skin His hands turn to dark oaks Each burnt finger Extending from arms as cold And onyx as forest earth

When he looks at me He sees my Blackness Stretching from the tight coils in my hair Down the length of both my chunky legs And over my two, bare feet

That is maybe all he sees My breasts have been flattened The roundness of my bottom Obfuscated by some myth That womanhood and celebration of it Will wash Blackness From river and blood-stained shore

To him The blood I shed Is not the same crimson of my brothers It is loose, spilled as routinely, Regarded as shallowly As the blood Flowing from a place Deep inside my stomach

Nought are the pressures seen Of the secrets sitting at my throat Lost fetuses Floating on an empty abdomen Cuts on slippery labial skin Slits on toughened wrists Leathery from use

Blood seeping from Places only women know Places Black folk ought to leave behind At birth

© Ama Akoto (2018)

#blackwoman #identity

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