To The Dark Skinned Girl

Illustration by Daniella Urdinlaiz
Illustration by Daniella Urdinlaiz

To the dark skinned girl:

I apologize that you

Have been made to feel bad.

Very bad.

For turning you so self conscious

That you lost all sense of yourself.

For avoiding mirrors because you couldn’t stand the excessive melanin mock at you from the other side.

For a pillow soaked wet every other night with your colorless tears. Tears are great levelers.

For the endless subscriptions of beauty magazines you devoured back to back in the hope of finding a way to bleach your skin raw so the pink underneath might show and pass off for a new found lightness that might grant you acceptance into the stifling, atavistic, custom-endorsed societal approval that trades self worth for skin pigmentation.

I apologize.

For the subversion of your innocence, your beauty;

Pronounced guilty for being a multi-dimensional person existing inside a single dimensional aspect

Of Biology that has been purposefully misunderstood.

And singled out, targeted

And stigmatized by fascist beauty

Standards befitting the irony:

That beauty, truly

Is only skin deep

And no more.

To the dark skinned girl:

When I see you I think

Of the pitch gloss

Of a velvet black sky

Unutterably irresistible;

Galaxies tucked under

The flawless stretch

Of your epidermis.

When I see you I think

Of golden warm honey,

Dark molasses, delightfully

Provocative;

When I see you I think

Of the rich brown earth

Proud, bold and rakish.

I think of the lustre

Of Venetian red, demure sepia

Glazed chestnut, polished mahogany

The effortless grace of

Rich rosewood; when I

See you I think of dark chocolate,

Not seductive, but seduction itself.

I think of the splendor of your granite will and the quartz of your endurance; I think of dark things.

Their belly lit up with arresting

Spells that only dark things can cast.

To the dark skinned girl:

When I see you I think of magic

And magic is neither white nor fair

It’s at its best when it’s dark.

When I see you,

I think of gorgeous shadows, silhouettes

Shifting forms, shapes:

Giving ‘light’, meaning.

So girl, who wears obsidian

For a skin, my bristling black volcanic glass

The blood racing under your skin

Is less corpuscles, more lava;

So how about

You throw out the bleach,

The need,

To comply with standards

Too ugly to know

How to treat beauty right;

Your skin isn’t

An Ill-fitting dress

That you feel like

You need to discard;

There’s a genetic memory

Coded in your melanin

Every single cell in your body

Aches,

To let you know:

Fair isn’t just a skin color type.

Fairness is more than paleness.

Please don’t let their darkness

Stamp out the iridescence,

Your essence;

Drown out their

White – noise, nuisance.

Blazing, burnished, brown

Golden girl,

You’re an act of God;

And I think

You’re indescribably beautiful,

Just the way you are. TC mark

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