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There is a war on my skin.
And it didn’t begin with my parents’ bodies.
It wasn’t ceased by a signed document.
Didn’t desist when the chains fell off.
Time didn’t end it, only camouflaged it.
Soldiers dressed up as my fellowmen,
Riding in cars (not horses) this time
With flashing lights and sounds,
Guns (not ropes) stay strapped and loaded,
Ready to fire…

On me?

After all the abductions and auctions…
Rape and torture…
Separation of families…
Destruction of possessions…
Lynchings and beatings…
Being hunted like an animal…
And the criminal looks like me?
My reproduction feeling like a curse,
Not a blessing
Dark babies falling from my womb—
I hate the day they’ll feel this gloom
I know eventually they’ll say it, too

“There’s a war on my skin!
America, it all began with you.”

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