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Don’t Drink the Kool-Aid photo


             after Ruby/Hilary 


For just 
fifteen seconds

out of my twenty-
six years living

I imagine 

a white woman

bones breaking
in a new way

my Black 

fleshy and 
ripping apart

my face split 

body convulsing
and bending

my pain has no end

there’s always dead ends
so I get my hair bone 

straight a fresh doobie
Dominican slayed

it often feels like
hilary and ruby

at war in one body

and on the humid days 
in Columbia, SC

my curls 
fight back

the relaxer 
anything but

and frizz makes me

so do white women

in college
I walked fresh

silk hair across 
the stretch of campus

with glass for walls

a friend of mine
waved and said:

you’re looking real
caucausion today

in 2020 

my body is 

to four walls

my hair
hasn’t been straight

since March
just that one time

imagine me

mad at myself
forcing my way

to a perfection 
not my own

like hilary 

staring down at that vile
throwing it to the ground

her flesh unfolding
rotting inside out

her blue hue 

shining through
ready to be seen

like the moon on
the Blackest nights

like me on wash day


steps over 
the pile of skin

reclaims her 

us Black girls
have too much 

fire to not 

a white woman’s body
a feeble-boned cage

don’t believe 
the propaganda 

don’t drink
the kool-aid.


image: Dorothy Chan