March 22, 2021 · Issue 2: Space(s)

Skin

My skin
is a beautiful gift
not a sin
But in this foreign land
They don’t understand that my skin
is my pride and joy

In this foreign land far from home
my skin
is a source of angst
caught
in the crosshairs
of racism

I live in it
My Skin
The color of Mother Earth
Glowing
in the rays of Father Sun

I wouldn’t move out
even if I could

I love my skin

But in a world obsessed
with the superficial
My skin is judged without mercy
I feel it in my bones
So much hate
Resentment and discrimination
Against a skin color
I did not choose

But my color is only skin deep
And My skin is a gift from God

My melanin-rich skin
a blessing to celebrate
Not a death sentence

But here in this foreign land
I am guilty
By virtue of my skin
At the store, “May I help you?”
Is code for “I’m watching you”
On the bus, at the garage
In my own neighbourhood
I get the look
“What is she doing here?”
To the police
my skin
spells trouble

But my skin is not a curse
to be condemned
My skin
Is fine mahogany
Ebony in its pure form
Unbowed and unbroken
I strut in the skin
of kings and queens
I stand tall
In my skin
of kings
and queens