Poem for chrissy: the philly jawn

Sometimes,
love means staying
where you are rooted
and learning
to be unashamed
of the soil
inside your garden
even though
it is still littered
with the history
of broken glass
and
broken people
broken by
white supremacy,
so broken
that though
they looked like you,
they still tried
to break your mirror,
Black girl.

You should have
always
seen yourself as
beautiful.
You should have
always
been protected.
You should have
never
had to heal
before your time.

But you, Philly sis,
grew
into something
far more
than a wound.
You are a whole
organic
fruit tree,
tall
and Black,
leaves leaving
legacies
of broken cycles,
seeds planting
exhales
of permission
in your people’s mouths, like:
“it’s okay
to be Black
and cry”,
“it’s okay
to be Black
and say,
‘that hurt me.’”
“it’s okay
to be Black
and air
dirty clothes
in therapy
and moments
with anyone
needing
to listen,
to know
they’re not alone.”
“it’s okay
to stay hood
and demand
respect
with the defense
of being human.”
“it’s okay
to be Black
and tend
to your garden,
to make up
your Black mind
that love
is your water
to pour
just as it
is your water
to drink.”
“it’s okay
to be Black
and name
gentrification
a disease
contagious
between
cities.”
“And no matter
how much
they try
to displace you,
it’s okay
to be Black
and fight for home,
to be a tree
and speak forests
of stories
from the ground,
living
and planting
deep beyond
the pull of
digging
and demolishing,
shading
and feeding
your people,
unapologetically.”

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