Beginning with the Color of My Skin
By: Allayah R. Carr, 3rd Place Division 3
50 shades of exquisite.
Caramel icing on your yellow cake.
Darker than 3 a.m.
Tar baby, a light bright.
Droplet of chocolate
drowning. I am the sista
running for the bus,
cussing the driver for not stopping.
I am every black woman before me.
Am I not good enough
for the black boys of Calhoun?
Am I not the bottled blondes
with thigh gaps and waterfall hair
dragging the ground like dead vines?
Am I not crafted? Oh the beauty
of God and his crock pot.
Cocoa, honey, espresso
sprinkled with essence of ebony.
I am wrapped in that silk cloak
of melanin I wear like liquid gold.
Keep your porcelain.
I was never broken.
We found our backbones wedged
in the towers of 39th and Lennox.
I am the Angelou’s and Morrison’s
phenomenally black and beloved.
Ode to the world’s most disrespected
tough as whipcords, messengers
of the black sun, hair that grows out
like the horizon. Beauty nestled
in the Nestle Nesquik of soul.
I am Sister Souljah,
throwing self-love like confetti.
Though nineteen, I carry the moon
in the grove of my spine. Every sway
of my hips pulls the tide closer.
Unfold the corners of midnight,
let that elegance shine through.
That haunting allure of blue black
telling truth through eyes like black opals,
that roll when they say I’m too dark.
Like those honest stars of ecstasy
I am a gem enlightened by my darkness.