Kissed by Growths Pain

a poem by Shaunteri Skinner

she fell into the burns
of her past as they
lay thick & thin
on her brain,
the emptiness was so
full,
it was so well-rounded
& welcoming.
kissed by growth’s pain
in too many ways to
describe how she
could bear to breathe,
ignoring the calms of
eves or news of life’s
chances in whatever
direction.
she felt as if
her waking was
misbehavior until she
woke out of that
dream of killers that
she kept repeating
At night,
those who laughed
right next to her with
blood all over their
hands
causing blood to be
her brain ever so
often.

until all of the flesh
fell back onto her
bones,
the rest of her left

the world, never wanting

to have gone,
but never wanting to
come back either.
being trapped in her
life
& the life that history
made
for her caused all of
the
pain that she would
ever
need to grow,
to be Black, woman &
beautiful
was the best that she
ever
had to be,
But proving it to those
who
mattered most
Seemed like new &
Old crushed dreams.

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