As a young black woman in 2016

 

As a young black woman in 2016

 

Fear is knowing your body can invent
a human so killable as a black child
and that your hypothetical daughters
are already shaving off their skin
and your hypothetical sons
want to hack off all their limbs
to appear less threatening,
and it is knowing that your old black pain
has already steeped into their veins
and all your old black wisdom
might not keep them alive,
and that even your own death,
on a street, in a car, at a store
with your amputee hands in cuffs,
body gorged on six or sixteen bullets,
trapped in video and audio and color,
would never be enough convincing
and that your ancestors don’t have real graves
but if they could, they would not just roll over in them,
they would crawl out and ask why you are crying
and you would tell them that your body
can create children marked for death,
and they would wail from their bones with you,
and fear is knowing that they are already wailing
for the humans you haven’t invented yet
and that someday it will be you clawing at the grave,
shouting out the names of the black ones still alive.

~Charnell Peters

Photocredit: “Nude I” by Kieran Crowley

 

2 Replies to “As a young black woman in 2016”

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