Brown and Lovely

A color often not given much love,
It’s a color often only liked by association,
I wonder
What is it about the color of wood, earth and chocolate,
That we avoid,
Black is beautiful,
And brown a twist
A darkened orange
Often left out of the mix,
My aunt once marveled about my skin,
As “brown and lovely”
I rebuked
Knee jerked,
internalized oppression
Creeping in,
Not letting me see brown as Beauty,
On me

Fast forward,
Black Lives Mattered,
And layers of concealer were peeled back,
To see hate self inflicted on me,
And others like me,
With little deaths,
Until depleted self-esteem
Threatened and began feeding on worth,
A self-love kick flipped my switch,
Rewound, and unwound
The mental emotional noose I was putting on daily for being in a vessel,
But with “eyes” made blind to see,
Gazing mahogany to caramel through a distorted gaze,
In snapping out of it,
In waking up
I’m confident in identifying shades of me;
I am brown
and lovely.

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