TO BE LOVED IN PARTS

BY NIA SIMONE

“i don’t usually
date darkskin girls but”

sends me into
a frantic panic
i long to sever the ties
i have to my identity
in one large snip
a big chop
or a heavy handed scrub
with the sponge my
Grandma used for
deep rooted stains
just
a
buff
and
polish
and i’ll be enough
to love in full
to be loved in small pieces is

“i don’t usually date black
girls but”

only behind closed doors
and subtweets
my blackness is admired
cherished and respected

in the light
i am only cornrows,
a fat ass, and ebonics
oh to be juiced of all ‘desirable’ qualities
by those who add the beverage
to their morning routine
with their flat tummy tea
but what’s left?
a woman in fear—
crippled by both her identity and the loss of it?

“you’re dark af.
you should be thankful
i’m still here”

straight lace front wigs
and foundation 2 shades 2 light
give me a taste
of the promised land
a land of compliment
without an asterisk
the next time
i visit i’ll dig myself in the ground
pat the dirt across my body
maybe they won’t notice
i’m not one of them
and i’ll get to stay

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