All Black is Beautiful

by Issy Beatriz Mejia

I come from beautiful Caribbean roots
I was raised by the trees I often climbed
I am made of the plátanos Dominicans so often eat
And I mirror the color of the limoncillos we’d eat on the balcon

I speak the Spanish that my ancestors’ colonizers taught us

I am shackled to a term I don’t define with :

“Spanish”

To society that means foreign
And foreign has become synonymous with beauty
Beauty that is only light skin & “good hair”
What a nightmare

What is beautiful is the sun that brings out every bit of melanin I was gifted
Beauty is all the fine people sitting in this room
From light to dark

Didn’t you know that the darker the berry, the sweeter the juice
Take a sip, dip your fingers in, all Black is beautiful

My truth, however not so much
My skin means secret
One made at night
It’s come to light
The slave and the master
An affair

A blur between what is right and what is wrong

I tried to wash away those secrets, but like tattoos they fastened tightly on my skin
I’ll have to accept them

I am a queen
Crowned in my curls
Dipped in light melanin
Product of colonization
And over represented

But today I want to represent all shades
Because the darker the berry, the sweeter the juice
Take a sip, dip your fingers in, all Black is beautiful

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