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*You sho’ is ugly*

shug says to celie

first, she gathers her close

leaps swiftly into her eyes

– intimate as a kiss –

then, mere centimeters away,

cackles up her venom

callous words sting,

dear speaker,

they claw


puncture fragility

and You are responsible

for the scars

*You sho’ is…*

post-coital, we lay on her bed

my vampire lover and me

she, the first to taste all of me, says

“turn over”

naked, i comply

curious aroused patient

as she takes in

all of me

then she whispers

“you have an elephant butt”

her revulsion courses my spine

scorches my ears

& melts my eyes

*You sho’…*

born with a lazy eye, i crawl thru fog

with eye patch over industrious eye

until thick, coke-bottle glasses

rescue and curse me

popping distorted orbs,

they invite plenty to laugh

but no one to kiss me

one day, i ask mama if i am beautiful

curious hopeful eager

as she continued to iron

without meeting my eyes

she, herself a crushed flower, replies

“you’re average”


metal in my mouth from 14 to 16

bands and brackets snag food

& rip the soft, wet insides of my lips purple

their flesh throb echoes to my blues

she, a loyal companion the best friend

this bastard baby could have

my companion accompanies me

during forced exercises, weigh-in after weigh-in

& marathon mocking sessions

where dreaded-daddy ogles my ugly

raging disgust at my gelatinous armor

that will soon again bank

rainbowed blood


i seem to attract bees

who rob me of nectar

and sting

and sting

while lodging barbs

their coarse pricks pierce fragile lens

making me beauty-blind eyeless to the grace

of a sista’s soft earthen curves

& a fat gurl’s blossomed abundance

does a fragrant wildflower live in me as well?

damn darts have parsed mirrors from my sight

lacerating self acceptance to unseeing slits

unable to hold loving likenesses




shug became grateful to finally love celie

as i became grateful

to finally love me

vampire lover offered amends years ago

self-hate addled with coke spawned her spew

mama-beloved said

she didn’t want me to get a big head

an island gyal, she was raised stoic to survive

‘n daddy-monster? well,

he departed over 25 years ago now

leaving me only my loyal companion

but it’s time i said goodbye to my blues

otherwise she’ll kill me



~ blkcowrie (with gratitude to Alice Walker)