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Zeleyha Mata Nov 2018
You used to tell me that beautiful things come from pain and adversity.
Like motherhood, unconditional love, and true stories.
As I stood in the middle of a room painted white,
Staring at the remains of rolling hills burned to black,
I saw you staring back at me.

Burnt fields like black panther fur
Shining against your bones
Velvet black
You’ve changed
And changed and changed
Yet your love still remains
Burnt fields like black panther fur
Whiskers are the needles on a compass
Always pointing to the azure sky
You used to sing when I cried
Rolling your r’s over rrolling hills
A haunting melody startling black birds into the night
Feathered constellations against a sliver moon
And lips pressed to my salty cheeks

You told me that your favorite skin tone was chocolate,
As you laid out in the sun hoping to melt. “A quarter black” is what you say when you want to feel proud,
Even as you tell me stories of how your mother was called negrita,
The girl who stood too dark amongst the crowd.

Burnt fields like black panther fur
Black like the broken wings of mothers before you
Who had hands with scars from cotton seeds
And blue veins like uprooted trees
Stretching all the way to their tired knees
Burnt fields like black panther fur
You criticize your aging beauty
Speaking in envy of the color gold
Like you are a broken bowl in need of kintsugi
Yet silver snakes still slither
Over the pebbled river beds of your black curls
Dripping down the small of your back
Until they reach the base of your ivory spine
Burnt fields like black panther fur
You criticize your aging beauty
Because you never thought
Cocoa lips and sun spots painted on sculpted clay that never cracks
Could ever look as stunning as it does on you

You told me that it is better to speak my truth then tell pretty lies.
So I told you mine and you cried,
And cried and cried.
But look where we are now,
Standing beside each other with the same eyes,
Just different reflections.

Burnt fields like black panther fur
Tongue like a sword set ablaze
Tempered in pools of milk and honey
Blood red sun grazing the tops of your eyelids
Still reminiscent of those in old photographs
Where you saw the little girl you search for in me
Burnt fields like black panther fur
I am sorry I made you cry
But even when our backs are turned
We are still
Black birds singing in the dead of night
Free
Thank you mama for my broken wings.
Inspired by a photograph of a burnt field that I saw in an art gallery. For my mom.
Anya  Jul 2018
In a box
Anya Jul 2018
I am in a box
As I reach out
Touch the walls
This strange barrier that separates me
From the other
Anything external
Different
Other
A hand from the box adjacent to mine appears
Splayed against the wall
I reach out mine
The dark and light contrast
Like the Chinese symbol Ying and yang
Other clearly
Other
Even a child could tell the difference
But,
Who does it take to look past the differences?
Francie Lynch Feb 2018
I have this friend
          (it's really me)
Who has this girlfriend
          (who's really she)
Who has this quirk
          (really several)
Which she'd deny
          (which is another)
She's not anti-***,
Sees right past color, creed and ethnicity;
Sees women for being women,
Men for men,
And any combination thereof,
And vice versa.
No, she can see right past bigotry,
Is blind to prejudice,
But has an innate drive that goes straight for wardrobe.
From the gowns of celebs,
To the color of Alex Trebek's tie.
A sartorist, that's what she is.
          
          I heard that.
          And I am not.


          (contrary too)
sartor: clothing
Amare Leslie  Sep 2018
Untitled
Amare Leslie Sep 2018
Does ethnicity
Really matter when red blood
Is being splattered
Lesli Vallecillo  Mar 2017
Grown.
Lesli Vallecillo Mar 2017
"I am truly losing faith in humanity." This is the phrase that provokes so much frustration in me. Tell me how this does not hurt you just by being okay with speaking it or writing it. Are you not humanity, are you not of the same bones and flesh as me. Do you not battle through struggles and have the livest moments as me. Have we not mourn the same when we lose something precious or realized the hate that tries to consume our people? Are we not one race of people? Tell me how you do not sit in puzzlement having stated that you do not have faith in yourself. Do tragedies put out your flame so quick. Instead of rising to conquer change no matter the time or loses, you crumble. My sisters and brothers, I am Honduran but my love does not stop at my roots. My kindness does not only affect people of my own ethnicity or skin color. We're a human race and no I do not speak that we should be blind to our cultures and each other's beginnings. I speak that being so different does not mean we are not as well immensely similar. Recognize my skin, recognize my language, recognize my roots, my religion, my traditions, my scars. Recognize all of me. And LOVE me still to no end. These tragedies will not further prosper when you have faith that, with a race with this much diversity, we will find the solution and stop these hate-crimes that make some of us even ponder the thought of defeat. I have grown to learn that this is the change, seeing the enormous difference in each other but seeing all the similarities and having it urge us to close the gap with knowledge and understanding. This is our peace. Learning of one another. This is our hope.
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