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
the rest of her left the world, never want-
ing 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.
published in Genre: Urban Arts First Edition