Bare with me, I ask,


As I learn to fight for Blackness

Drawn so naturally to me,

I'd forgotten how to defend her.

The notion that she might shock and offend

          when she sweetly saunters into a room.

Blackness seducing



From the mounds of forty-two year-old mouths.

Madame, I'm sorry I didn't notice you,

          Denormalizing me from my fellow countrymen.


Womanhood. You came to me overnight,

          Over boredom.

Found me, fondling, fingers,

          tongues, body and blood.

Womanly: the way I wasn't a born.

Meeting and knowing I would do anything to keep you.

To defend the honor of your company.


Blackness, my flesh,

          I didn't know.

I didn't know of your longing       

          for me.

Believing that you knew you had me,

The way in which I've always carried you.

And I'm making space for you,

A ménage-a-trois to make the carrion scream.

I will to be you both.



A friend of mine questions this shirt every time I wear it. He hates the word "no," as he associates it with a strong negativity, and rightfully so, as it's negative in its nature. However, I love "NO." I find power in its unwavering certainty. While I know embracing positivity is important to the psyche, I can't help but glow a little when I get to utter the sweet nothing of a "No." The occasion is rare and coveted. 


Photo: Atiya Jones.

Shirt: Laura Serman, whose work can be found here