An Ode to the Radiant Black Woman I Saw on the Train

An Ode to the Radiant Black Woman I Saw on the Train

by Mel Vee X

Black woman-

 

Do you know how beautiful you are?

 

Your deep ebony reminds me of the galaxy,

Studded through with strs

The same ones our ancestors gazed upon

Before they were stolen

 

Black woman-

 

Do you know how beautiful you are?

 

Rich earthy

Terracotta brown

The same warm brown of the calabash

The same salt of the earth they wanted us to swallow

But they didn’t know we are seeds

And we’re nourished in the dark

 

Black woman-

 

Do you know how beautiful you are?

 

Cocoa butter brown

Smoothed into your skin

Let it melt

Turn your face toward the sun

The brilliance of your smile lights galaxies on fire, interstellar

Don’t ever let the white folks consume you

 

Black woman-

 

Do you know how beautiful you are?

 

Everybody stop speaking

Everybody holds their breath

This brown goddess come to earth

Just sitting there

Like it ain’t no big deal she’s the most beautiful woman I’ve seen

 

Black woman-

 

Do you know?

Do you really know?

 

All this glory

All this beauty

All this magnificence

 

It’s all you

Do you know?

 

 

Photo Credit: Mike Hopkins Photography
Mel Vee X is a Black queer (out)spoken word artist, burlesque performer and photographer. She’s cofounding member of Uproot YYC, an artist collective by and for Artists of Colour in Mohkinstsis/Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Her unflinching dedication to telling hard truths is the heart of her craft.

 

Other Poems By Mel Vee X
A Non-Suicide Note of an Obviously Non-Suicidal Coloured Girl when the Rainbow is Enuf

40 Below Love Poem