Brown Girl, Brown Girl

Brown girl, brown girl
she is birthed to procreate with a brown boy brown boy

and if she sees her hummingbird reach
for potted petunias, almost touching

pink petals, she must never assign meaning
where there is none, she must never see

another image, which is in His likeness
which is a momentary Sistine encounter

where forever above One does not touch
the Other.

Brown girl, brown girl
she will never marry if she does not roll dough

or sew and fold clothes the way she folds
her mind after it has been washed and dried on a line

like brown blood on panties that she must
stop with sanitary napkins but never tampons

because god forbid the white tearing
of the hymen before hard brown splits through it.

Brown girl, brown girl
not one person knows the paradox or the contradiction

her secret joys of oral sex and the Arabic she learns
to read a book, and read that book, and read that book

over and over and through and through
setting that book down, and setting it down, and setting it down

in favor of countless more books and because hell
is for polytheists that is where she'll go

to the bookstores and libraries
where authors sign their names on paper.

Brown girl, brown girl
her guilt is so deep and juicy in her thigh bone

that when her God consumes her, she is sure
He will suck the seasoned marrow

and not stop there, not until her soul
is sucked, her soul is sucked, her soul is sucked

and she is left fucked on the littered path
to enlightenment.

Brown girl, brown girl
no matter how one part blue

is mixed with fifty parts white
is mixed with seven parts red

is mixed with six parts white
no combination exists

to make or welcome brown.
She must wring with her hands. She must paint.


Published in Unlikely Stories.


Bazira, Barikot, Blasphemy, Bloodbath