Lorna Simpson, Stereo StylesJennifer Mei, Flickr

The Cut Off

I can be white for you, I mean right for you
He’s from Ireland you see
So he likes girls who are pale, white, almost sickly
Not brown girls with rough afro curls
No He’s looking for girls who resemble white pretty pearls
You see the thing with skin is you can’t change it
You can only change what’s within
You see I could read every book every poem for him
Woody Allen this and James Joyce that
But the fact is I’m black
So I’m not on the list, I’m ticked off,
Given the cross, that’s that
He’s made his decision on one tiny fact
Am I fat? Am I ugly? Does my breath really smell?
No its your skin it just doesn’t quite jell
This is a spell I cannot break, a pot I cannot fix
An exam I cannot take
Its not a matter of changing my hair or losing weight
It’s a yes or a no, an in or an out
Please come to our party        
No no your black please get out
You see the thing is I’m so much more than my skin
I’m funny I’m clever I’m beautiful I shine from within
Ha to that time I would say if only I was thin
Now I say if only I could change this skin