Ampersand

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Time after time I am told not to wake up from the pill induced coma that they put me in,

Supposedly brainwashed and made to think this round peg could never fit in to a square opening.

But I woke up like this.

I woke up, choked up with passion and solutions for a revolution;

I woke up spitting in the face of my oppressors for making my melanin look lesser.

I woke up, like this. I woke up, a tigress. I woke up, to fight this. I woke up not to digress.

 

When people told me I wasn’t white or black enough to fit the stereotyped criteria I made my own.

When Kelsey in fifth grade, told me he didn’t like brown girls and I couldn’t play, I made my own game.

The first time I was told that I spoke well for a black girl, I. Woke up. Like this.

With exclamation marks and ampersands tattooed on the knuckles of my fist,

Not in an act of violence but a vowel of brutal silence.

I held it up to her face and watched the vanilla swirl of her brain go insane as the tides shift.

 

They said it was nap time for the darkie but I RISE AGAIN AND AGAIN.

If you are offended by the naps of my hair or the dresses that I wear, I will not hesitate to show them off AGAIN AND AGAIN I SWEAR.

The only things less about me are the flaws that are unknown and cast to sea.

I am everything I want to be, despite societal anarchy, despite the “lighter is brighter” philosophy.

This girl’s nutella cover up is too rich to spread, and you know how people go crazy over prized gems,

I guess that’s why they want her skin to shed even if the price is to have her dead.

You call it a burden or a sight for sore eyes, a stumbling block if I should ever try to get a guy and a reason to have all my job applications declined but I. I woke up like this.

 

So no matter how much you try and persist to drown my royal highness. I. Am flawless.

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