Her words like an echo
Like they were ripples in water
“I’d never have pictures of my niece and nephew if they were dark skin. dark skin. DARK. SKIN.”
She goes on…
“We tease my grandmother for bringing the darkness in our family.”
The darkness? Whose darkness?
The darkness of her grandfather.
His skin forever taunted, forever tainted the lightness, the rightness, the whiteness of their family.
My mom says she wants skin like mine.
“Your skin is so beautiful.” She’d say.
Why would she want to trade in your butterscotch perfection for my chocolate rejection?
She has to be… right?
But what if she’s right?
What if she’s right?
Darker in the summer
Lighter in the winter
But never light
“You’re pretty for a dark skin girl.”
“What did you say?”
“It’s supposed to be a compliment”
You know the kind?
Void of authenticity.
I’m pretty, period.
Actually, I’m pretty, exclamation point
My mother was right,
She’s always been right
This skin, this color, my color is… beautiful
Magnificent melaninated Magic
the color of earth, rich,
steeped in painted over history
For my ancestos who will never be seen
I must stand tall, forever tall,
So as to never tilt my crown again.
Photo: Taylor Baldwin
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