Mi nuh ave chain pon mi neck but I didn’t know what to name this post and this is the first lyric that came to mind. Today’s poem is a Gramme of &s in response to the TL debate around black men being carefree wearing flowers in their hair. I have issues with this idea but it’s all in the poem.
Amina Jama is bae. I ❤ Amina Jama. This woman is one of my favourite poets, and people. Her work is truly sublime, burrowing into your mind and making a home there. The first line of the poem of hers embedded at the bottom is one that sticks in my body always. Her work is resounding, speaking with the truth that comes from vulnerability and great artistry.
Anxiety has been stained into this skin. It is a farce
to think flowers can rub their irises clean of fear.
It is not safe to be masculine, wear something else, your race
demands it. You are scary, daunting, an acre
before a slug. Those petals are reefer,
destined for smoke. Do you not know the fare?
The cost of blackness? It is not safe to be feminine either, rare
for us to be safe. Black femininity does not receive care,
is not handled more gently. Worry is attached to this face
no matter how it smiles. Softening will not make you free.
Shake at the sight of yourself. Make self love your career.