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
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
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?