10 things i want to say to a black woman – joshua bennett

10 Things I Want To Say To A Black Woman

1. i wish i could put your voice in a 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 bounce off the walls like ricochet bullets etching keyholes into the sternums of every brother in the room skeletons opening rose blossom beautiful to remind you that the way to a black mans’ heart is not through his stomach, it is through the heaven in your hello. the echo of my ? galaxy that pounces forth through you vocal chords, and melts ice grills into oceans, baptizing our lips, until 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 mothers’ smile was so bright it knocked the air form my lungs. and i haven’t been able to breath right since. its something about the way light dances off of 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 ? stare at your face every morning, and realize that the ? of her skin was painted by that symphony doing cartwheels on your tongue.

3. who else can make kings out of bastards. turn a ?? into a floor full of gifts in a kitchen, that’s ???? and my sister, was a blacksmith. who when she put fire and metal and made kitchen miracles at 15. making ??? to feed a little boy who didn’t have the words to see how much she meant to him back then ???

4. your skin reminds me of everything beautiful i have ever known. the color of ink on a page, the earth we walk on, and the cross ?? savior.

5. I’ve seen you crucified too. spread out on billboards to be spiritually impaled by millions of men with eyes like nails. made ??? of your daughters. so I’m sorry for the music videos, for Justin timber-lake at the Superbowl, and the young man on the corner this morning. when you just want to shed your flesh and become invisible. never doubt, they only insult us because… men are confused. we’re trained to destroy or conquer everything we see from birth.

6. if i ever see don Imus in public I’ll punch him in the face. one time, for every member of the Rutgers and Tennessee women’s basketball teams. then I’ll show him a picture of Phylicia Rashad, Assata Shakur, Eartha Kitt, my mother, my grandmother, my 7 year old neice whose got eyes like fire bombs, 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 waking up to.

8. when we are married i will cook. wash the dishes, and whatever else it will take 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 kid s a treat we split equally and our bed, where I’ll construct altars of wax on the small of your back. we make love like the sky is falling. moving, to the rhythm of bed springs and Bel Biv Devoe and angels, calling to us. saying this, is the way it was meant to be.

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

10. never stop pushing. this world needs you now more than ever.

Joshua Bennett



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