At first he told me he liked my dreadsAnd I hesitated to tell him they weren’t realThen he told me my body looked deliciousWhy did I hesitate to tell him that it wasn’t his meal?

I’m not supposed to let them touch meI’m not supposed to let them seeI don’t suppose it felt that goodI don’t suppose he liked my screamsI’m not supposed to invite them inI’m not supposed to offer a keyI don’t suppose he’s all that smartHe told me to shut up when I already couldn’t breathe

Why don’t black women EVER smileY’all are so much sexier with your lips spreading wideNot to tell or ask or sayBut, when it’s night. When it’s time to ease my day awayThat’s when those lips start to take me to heavenI try to stay coolI try to count each secondI try to stay calmI barely make it to seven…

I smileI doI smile at children and flowers and loversI smile at animals and skies and mothersI smile all the timeYou can trust that I doI just won’t ever smile at you.

Why do you call me babygirlWhen Truth told me that I’m A WomanWhy do you call me out my nameWhy do you think that i’ll believe that i’m nothing

Why do you make fun of my dreamsWhy make my future seem impossibleWhen an Angel already rose from the deadJust to tell me that I’m Phenomenal

Your words may scratch other womenBut they’ll never lay a hand on meBecause my ancestors’ loveGot to me firstIsn’t it obviousShit, I know you see.

Is it my scent that’s luring youDo you know about my secret tooIf so, then there’s nothing i can doI am only one, but my body is built for twoActually, my body is built for a fewBut today, none of those few are youNor is it my baby boy’s blueNor is it my baby girl’s cooNope, not this moon – nothing newNothing growing, nothing bubbling, nothing to stewParty of one, yes only one in my crewNo other color but red will doBut this, this, this you already knewThat’s why you approached me with a promise of trueBut a promise will turn sour and then to untruthI’ll grow into my mother waiting on youOoops, i said it – mother – those words twisted your smile askewMother me, mother my, M-O-T-H-E-R-F-U-That’s what they’ll shout until their lungs give throughWhich one will they come running toLove They Will Who?

Top photo by nappy on Pexels

“What if we took all this anger born of righteous love and aimed it?”

—Ijeoma Olou, “We women can be anything. But can we be angry?”

ANGER showcases essays and poetry featuring well-aimed anger from femme writers, writers of color, LGBTQIA+ writers, First Nations writers, and disabled writers.