Black womxn,
You night sky,
You starless galaxy
stars for eyes.

are so full of empty
of womb
of creation

balance of holy fire
You misunderstanding
so beautiful
so lawless
so… dark

They branded you that, you know?
“dark”, ”black”, “demon”

all reclamation
all “yin”, “rebirth”,

beaten spine still straight
you clawed teeth
you rip them apart with rhetoric
and discourse.

all community,
all let’s talk this through
all “What is ailing you, my love?”

tired of hearing about how black you are,
How straight your hair is not
you’d just blend in
Wishing you’d stop being all bold colored font

all redefining black as beautiful
nappy as galaxy

You all proud
them all scared
You not running
them all shaking.

stand tall against the wind
You recognize your skin as baobab tree

You all deeply rooted

wondering about your roots
on a land that feels like sand

You clinging onto the depths of empty
You know empty
You’ve claimed it
made it friend

You know what happens here,
in a starless night,
in a planet-less galaxy
in the largest womb ever known.

is where you have always
created best

Copyright © 2020 by Assétou Xango. This poem originally appeared as “A Letter to Black Femmes” on Medium. Used with permission of the author. 

Some folks will tell you the blues is a woman,
Some type of supernatural creature.
My mother would tell you, if she could,
About her life with my father,
A strange and sometimes cruel gentleman.
She would tell you about the choices
A young black woman faces.
Is falling in with some man
A deal with the devil
In blue terms, the tongue we use
When we don't want nuance
To get in the way,
When we need to talk straight.
My mother chooses my father
After choosing a man
Who was, as we sing it,
Of no account.
This man made my father look good,
That's how bad it was.
He made my father seem like an island
In the middle of a stormy sea,
He made my father look like a rock.
And is the blues the moment you realize
You exist in a stacked deck,
You look in a mirror at your young face,
The face my sister carries,
And you know it's the only leverage
You've got.
Does this create a hurt that whispers
How you going to do?
Is the blues the moment
You shrug your shoulders
And agree, a girl without money
Is nothing, dust
To be pushed around by any old breeze.
Compared to this,
My father seems, briefly,
To be a fire escape.
This is the way the blues works
Its sorry wonders,
Makes trouble look like
A feather bed,
Makes the wrong man's kisses 
A healing.

From Autobiography of a Jukebox by Cornelius Eady. Used with permission.