Black Bodies by Alana Kabaka ’21

i try not to step on the bones of my ancestors but they seem to be scattered everywhere

sweet secrets of bleaching skin with lemon juice

i am seeking secrets slept on unsatisfied tough

i try to swim with weights tied to my ankles

hoping I will go somewhere knowing I won’t

walking in a room of white people the smell of bleach seems to choke me

i seem to have nightmares about my black body being the next black body to drop like a fly

my bones dragged threw the town

i have realized my black isn’t beautiful unless it’s diped and mixing with false labels

of being ghetto and dangerous

i wonder if i was lighter and whiter

i wouldn’t look at my melanin the way i do  

my ancestors jumped off the boat not knowing how to swim  

their bodies sunk like rocks

their stories as lost as they were

black bodies buried in bullets broken promises of

making America great again  

ricochet of raging melanin  

my race grows like vines around racist white ladies

comments of can i touch your hair

and i was poor once so i know what it’s like to be black

white bodies talking about the west side

of Wayzata right next to the country club

how it burned every black body when

our silent secrets were no longer silence slept on the tips of everyone tounge

black bodies are told they can by society as it holds a knife behind its back  

getting ready to get rid of the race itself

black bodies never equal

never good enough to stand next to white bodies

they say they want you to succeed

but they shoot your beautiful black body

15 times when one bullet would have killed you

maybe it’s one for every racist thought

black bodies are still on that boat toes clenched to the edge ready to