To be a black woman is to sit at the bottom of the barrel
Difficult and callous
Like your natural hair
No one can run their hands through it, through you.
Hurt and hurtful
You remind these men of what is means to be black
No gleeful giggles of ignorance
And wonder at ‘black culture.’
Your skin twirling like clay on the potter’s wheel
Reminds of slavery
Of the crime to being born black
Sifted by that divide black, white
No one sees the hues and nuances.
And because of that,
Because you’re the color of earth
He would not look you in the eye
And he would not love you.
And your wretched pleas to be held by hands
That would not break you
Falls to the ears of a silhouette turned away from you.
About the Poet
Temi Iwalaiye is a lawyer and a writer. She regularly tries to unravel how to be human, alive, and happy.