In the house that is my body
a Black girl waves at the world
from her window. She can be
safe here because the house
is cis assumed. I want to keep us
& keep us safe, even if it means
I am cis assumed. My phantom
breasts that aren’t phantom breasts
but A-cups. I get so sick of them
not seeing the girl. I get so scared
they might see the girl. Safe
derives from the Old French sauf
meaning protected, watched-
over, assured of salvation.
I am the watchtower for the girls
& their salvation. Let’s hear it for
the girls. About the invention of Black
femmes, is this what Spillers meant?
Am I? In the watchtower that is my body,
there is a door that leads to a legion
of ungone femmes. It’s safe inside
the girl for the others to stay.
Copyright © 2021 by Jada Renée Allen. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on August 12, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.