This Bridge I Call My Back

This Bridge I Call My Back

This bridge is lourd; busted concrete filled with splits in my skin -

home to pockets of history and unmanageable dirt.

Did you hear that black girls now are unapologetically gorgeous?

As if the negro woman wasn’t always a queen.


Question everything that is said, as words are simple vibrations

of often fucked-up hearts. So let me tell you ce que je sais. Knowledge

of themud soaked-grass caked on my back is key to wondering what

the fuck im doing lying in the grass.


No worries, be happy in your skin queen and let the little people make their

way down your expressway en route to kiss your ass. As if I had to sit here,

body planted near the root of this mango tree, telling you that the bridge

on your back is only there because you carry the world for free.


See, my pops won't understand that the callus forming on his hands

from slangin copper pipes for a check can't compare to the actual world

resting on my bridge, not to mention I can create life; he’ ll be nothing

more than mom’s assistant.


Ask yourself honey, why your features are taken, yet you feel like shit

for being the owner of the overstuffed derriere, thick lips, concrete thighs,

and thick coils stretched out in your hair. Hear me out for a sec as I tune out

the world and think about when they placed this bridge sur mon dos.


Was it when I was born and they said “this petite fille de couleur is going to be

something special,” and when my parent’s eyes blinked they slapped the foun-

dation and sent me on my way to have serious issues carrying all this shit.                


Whether you know it dear, this bridge breaks whenever you speak, tsunaming

when your words flow into crusted canals, and you channel the authority muffled    

deep within you, and speak with words that shiver; its coming down love,

watch the wires cross and tumble tirelessly down your spine,

comme un tremblement de terre, as you recognize the strength


within your bones; harmonizes and synchs with the chaos

that only you can carry, unfold, and retell because ourvoice

is history, our beauty is wars, our eyes are passageways

to this pont called our backs, and I will salute you when

you realize bridges are man-made, and can too be broken