Black Woman, Who Are You

Black Woman, Who Are You

My daddy is so Black
That the night bleeds into his skin
His hands turn to dark oaks
Each burnt finger
Extending from arms as cold
And onyx as forest earth

When he looks at me
He sees my Blackness
Stretching from the tight coils in my hair
Down the length of both my chunky legs
And over my two, bare feet

That is maybe all he sees
My breasts have been flattened
The roundness of my bottom
Obfuscated by some myth
That womanhood and celebration of it
Will wash Blackness
From river and blood-stained shore

To him
The blood I shed
Is not the same crimson of my brothers
It is loose, spilled as routinely,
Regarded as shallowly
As the blood
Flowing from a place
Deep inside my stomach

Nought are the pressures seen
Of the secrets sitting at my throat
Lost fetuses
Floating on an empty abdomen
Cuts on slippery labial skin
Slits on toughened wrists
Leathery from use

Blood seeping from
Places only women know
Places Black folk ought to leave behind
At birth

© Ama Akoto (2018)

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