Black Beauty

By Staff Writer Marissa Ward

Loneliness comes with the territory
of being a black woman
fully seated in her power;

not even rose water
is a scent strong enough
to cover up its smell.

Our power comes from reception.
We take the world in,
let it penetrate us.

We run the world through our body
every conflict,
every victory,
every war,
every celebration,
every heartbreak.
We take it all the way in
and spin it into gold
before sending it back out.
We are the first alchemists.

Our station in life is hardly conducive for love,
at least not the traditional,
romantic sense of the word.
Men are trained to want a woman who is pure,
more virginal than sacred Jezebel.

They lie next to us
and feel the whole world in their bed,
faced with every difficulty
they want to turn away from.

The strength
and openness
we possess
is best used to transmute
life’s poison into medicine.

Every ounce of darkness,
what society is quick
to abandon or disregard,
we treat with dignity and value.

Our bodies hold the range of ugly;
we make it beautiful,
wear it well.

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