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April 8, 2017

Your Melanin. {Poem}

 

She is not me, therefore she is perfect.
It’s easy to see why the world has fallen in love with her.
And why you have given her a title even God would envy.
Her skin has been softly kissed by the Arabian sun.
She glows intensely, vividly.
Her hair, a sea of black cascading down the curves of her back.
You told me that her smile reminds you of a spring sunrise.
A Victoria Secret model with the mind of a future president.

I still remember the look on your face when you described your future together.
Little Carmelo babies, a mixture of your dark melanin and her smooth olive tone.
A glimmer of pride in your eyes at the reality of “avoiding” black children.
Stating how they will speak none of the African languages, as Xhosa or Zulu won’t really take them far.
I watched as you began to cut away their African roots.
Not really sure if it was out of ignorance or out of shame.

I watched as you insinuated that I would never be good enough.
Stating how you loved silky hair, yet getting angry when women of color wore weaves.
You eyed my afro, always asking me if I had combed it that day.
Not realising that my hair was attempting to reach the pedestal in the sky that you placed her on.
Its kinks getting tighter at the embarrassment of never being good enough.
I would have turned a shade of red when you said you don’t like black women, but my chocolate skin refused to give you that pleasure.

With every breath I take, I am reminded that I’m somewhat empty.
Watching as the person I thought I loved described how he hated everything about me.
Perhaps you could tell the sadness in my eyes.
Or maybe the heartache kept staining the words I spoke.
But you held my hand and told me I’m different.
You said that my kinks were a crown of candy floss that tickled my cheeks on a summer’s day.
You exclaimed how my dark skin was like that of charcoal: a dark consistency like no other.
Claiming my accent was nowhere near black, stating it with a smile almost as though it were a compliment.

But even with all this, I still love you.
I will forever be drawn to the warrior spirit that lingers within.
The spirit that ruled empires and dynasties.
I still weep the day, when like Samson, she cut your locks to leave behind only a shadow of a man who’s strength was without bounds.
I’m in love with the potential you don’t know you possess.
You will forever be my king—
Even when you fail to recognise me as your African Queen.

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Author: Ros Limbo

Image: Unsplash

Editor: Travis May

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