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Write me a poem on Black Girl Joy

Write me a poem on black joy

On black girl joy

And leave out the ways your tongue curls around the trauma that your grandmother

Left behind in her womb

The trauma that wrapped itself around your neck

And named itself umbilical cord

Calling itself feeding you nutrients

When all it ever took from your mother’s meal

Are the deep breaths she didn’t digest

Black girl

Write me a poem on happiness

Leave out the tears you shed

Over the blood

Spilled on sacred grounds

Where first kisses


First words on eulogies

Because bullets riddle the walls you were pinned to

That day

Leave behind the 6 foot 5 boy

That made your skin feel like glitter

Leave his grave site out of the rhymes

Because death and joy can’t coexist

Black girl you have to write me a poem on black joy

Leave behind the name you swallow

Every time you think of the child you lost

What did the joy cost black girl

Don’t give me currency

Give me happy

That I can market

Sing me a song on black joy

And make sure its hands are warm

Black girl do you see Eden?

Do you still see Eden?

Eden Burns behind bamboo earrings

With flowers wilting

To be placed on the graves of her children

Whose bones became sustenance

So Eden is a mother of chaos

Like you are black girl

Do you see Eden?

Does she recognize your eyes

Or are the cracks placed in the cement

Making it hard to grow roses?

Black girl write me a poem on black joy

And leave the concrete out of the gardens

Leave out Angels with paper wings

Leave out your sister with a voice like porcelain

That cracks every time it hits wind

As if air is a hard surface

I don’t want the ghosts that live as shadows off your breath

You swallow so much death

That you spit them like revolutions

Off your tongue

Black girl why do you burn so intently?

Black girl why is your joy so grim?

Tell me black girl What makes you feel alive

Without having to die for it?

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