On being black in white spaces

It eats at you, little by little
Tries to peel you open and gnaw at the core of what makes you human

Tries to gnaw at the core of what makes you magic

What makes you sing from that space of history and ancestry and truth

That feeling that makes your body hum as music rises up from your gut, around your heart and out your soulful lips

You sing to elevate the spirit and carry the soul to the heights it was formed to go

You let your blackness radiate in heavy, shining waves around you

Deterring anyone who might think to tear you down, who might think to make you feel small

Sometimes you falter

Sometimes you get afraid. You get tired

You let them tear at you, peel you open

Grab your guts and show them to you. Like they weren’t just ripped out from your own stomach

And then you wake up, you come to

You get hugged by a tall woman with long, dark twists that graze lazily across her back, skin smooth and the color of chestnuts

She holds you to her chest and whispers that you are a god, you are powerful

You are magic

She reminds you to shine, to burn bright

She reminds you that you need radical love, and radical honesty

She reminds you that fire hums in the pit of your stomach

You remember that you forgot to love yourself, appreciate yourself

Trust yourself.

You remember what it feels like to blaze

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