Skip to main content

For Myrtle ...

The color of your skin-
a sort of lemon meringue-
contoured around a full framed face.
I wish I'd known you longer
and felt your luscious smile.
Contagious was the squint of your eyes,
almond in shape,
when your heart pierced through pearly stones
and your cheekbones lifted 
and the curve of your brow met
silky black hair lined with grey edges.
I wish I'd known you longer.
A smooth, creamy complexion, 
free from wrinkles,
suggested an age other than your own;
And you never knew your birth year;
The evil that gave you high yellow 
took your age as well.
I wish I'd known you, 
maybe to stand beside you in the mirror
to see whiteness of my ancestors more clearly-
to understand this high yellow I am in winter-
to recognize the history behind these cheekbones-
to know myself better-
to know you ...
The fullness of your nose
and softness of your dimples
caress my almond eyes,
and what I've wished to know about you
lay within the crevices of a smile 
wrapped in caramel.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

I'm A Quitter...So What!?

When I was 8, I went to a cousin's wedding in Lansing, Michigan. My mom and I stayed after the wedding festivities to sight-see. One afternoon, we were walking to the public bus and it flew passed us to the bus stop, a good distance away. My mom told me to run! I took off jogging, casually. Frustrated and annoyed, I stopped running. I turned around and proclaimed that I was tired and our efforts were futile. She told me to keep running. Rolling my eyes, I took off in a light sprint and the bus driver was gracious enough to wait for us to catch up (this clearly wasn't anything like the brutal NYC transit operators who could care less about you). We winded-ly climbed on the bus and to this day, my mother uses this story to lecture me about the benefits of not giving up--of not quitting.
Although my mother would never want me to stay in a toxic situation, that experience has shaped the narrative around my vigorous fight against being labeled "quitter."

I'm an overa…

For Colored Girls Who Aren't Afraid to Acknowledge Their Therapist, Pt. 2

A lot of people have read my earlier post (For Colored Girls Who Aren't Afraid to Acknowledge Their Therapist, Pt. 1) about being a strong black woman who unashamedly has a therapist. I've gotten a few comments like:
"Mia! You've always seemed like you had it all together! I'm surprised."
"Mia, this is my life! I've had/I'm having trouble finding a therapist too!"
"I had no idea therapy costs that much! Why won't insurance cover mental health care like they cover everything else?"
1.So, let me say this: I'm grateful to know that I am not alone in this process--that there are friends and colleagues who are doing or want to do work on themselves so that they, too, can be healthy. My generation might be deemed selfish or self-absorbed by older onlookers, but many of us are outchea tryna to cultivate the best version of ourselves--the version our families and communities expect from us. We ain't just outchea overachieving for …

Having a Baby, Pt. 2

I've talked previously about Having a Baby on here-

Not just having a baby but not feeling like I need a man to do it. It was a revolutionary act of self-love to declare, this past January, that I wasn't waiting on the perfect partner, the right time, or the best financial situation to have a baby. Black women, in particular, have it hard out here. For those of us who didn't accidentally get pregnant at 17, we were told by many to wait--to wait until we got settled into our careers, to wait until we made partner at the firm and then wait 3 years after that so that we could keep partner...to wait until we made tenure at whatever university...to wait until we got our first church or our first job as pastor...to wait and wait and wait....until our eggs disappear or we can no longer carry a child to term because we've reached advanced maternal age. I've heard the stories--both dictated to me in private and publicly shared in books and interviews [Read Gabrielle Union&#…