10 Things I Want To Say To A Black Woman by Joshua Bennett

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All women are beautiful…

1. I wish I could put your voice in jar, wait for those lonely
winter nights when I forget what God sounds like, run to the
nearest maximum security prison and open it. Watch the notes
that bounce off the walls like ricocheted bullets, punching
keyholes into the sternums of every brother in the room,
skeletons opening, rose blossom beautiful to remind you that
the way to a black man’s heart is not through his stomach, it is
through the heaven in your ‘hello’; the echo of unborn galaxies
that pounces forth from your vocal cords, that melts ice grills
into oceans, baptizing our lips, and so harsh words fade from
our memories, and we forget why we stopped calling you
divine in the first place.

2. When I was born my mother’s smile was so bright, it knocked
the air from my lungs, and I haven’t been able to breathe right
since. It’s something about the way light dances off your
teeth, the way the moon gets jealous when you mock her
crescent figure with the shape of your mouth. Queen, you
make the sky insecure, self-conscious for being forced to
stare at your face every morning and realize that the blues of
her skin was painted by that symphony doing cartwheels on
your tongue.

3. Who else can make kings out of bastards, turn a fatherless
Christmas into a floor full of gifts and a kitchen that smells like
the Lord is coming tomorrow, and we must eat well tonight. I
used to think my sister was a blacksmith, the way she baked
fire and metal and made kitchen miracles at fourteen, making
enough food to feed a little boy who didn’t have the words to
say how much she meant to him back then, or enough backbone
to say so the day he turned twenty.

4. Your skin reminds me of everything beautiful I have ever
known: the colour of ink on a page, the earth we walk on and
the cross that hung my Saviour.

5. I’ve seen you crucified too, spread out on billboards to be
spiritually impaled by millions of men with eyes like nails, who
made mothers of your daughters; so I’m sorry for the music
deals, for Justin Timberlake at the Superbowl, and that young
man on the corner this morning, who made you undershade your
flesh and become invisible. Never doubt, he only insults you
because, men are confused. Now we are trained to destroy or
conquer everything we see from birth.

6. If I ever see Don Imus in public I will punch him in the face,
one time for every member of the Rutgers and Tennessee
Women Basketball Teams. Then I’ll show him a picture of
Phylicia Rashad, Assata Shakur, Arthur Kit, my mother, my
grandmother and my seven-year-old niece, who’s got eyes like
firebombs, and then dare him to tell me that black women are
only beautiful in one shade of skin.

7. You are like a sunrise in a nation at war; you remind people
that there is always something worth waiting up to.

8. When we are married I will cook, do the dishes and whatever
else it takes to let you know that traditional gender roles have
no place in the home we build; so my last name is an option,
babysitting the kids a treat we split equally, and our bed will be
an ancient temple where I construct altars of wax on the small
of your back. We make love like the sky is falling, moving to the
rhythm of bedsprings and Bell Biv DeVoe. Angels applauding in
unison, saying this is the way it was meant to be.

9. My daughter will know her father’s face from the day she is
born, and I can only pray that the superman complex lasts long
enough for me deflect the pain this world will aim at her from
the moment she is old enough to realize that the colour brown
is still not considered human most places. But my daughter will
have a smile like a wheelchair, and so even when I am at my
worst, when the Kryptonite of this putrid planet threatens to
render me grounded, the light dancing off of her teeth, will
transform the shards of my broken body into heart-shaped
blackbirds, taking flight on a wing that reminds me of my
Saviour’s hands, my daughter’s smile, my mother’s laugh when I
was in her womb.

10. Never stop pushing, this world needs you now more than
ever…

here’s a link to the video..

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2 thoughts on “10 Things I Want To Say To A Black Woman by Joshua Bennett

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