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  • Joshua Lefort

Cursed Skin

I wear the colour of oppression

and so I have no choice but to embrace the tyranny,

embrace the person in front of me.

I was blessed with this cursed skin,

hung and slaughtered like a pig's carcass:

this second-hand skin bears the scars of those that came before me,

burnt to charcoal by the man in white:

I’m smothered in a cloud of black thoughts.

At the mercy of this cloak I wear,

hunted and sought after like a sheep's wool,

I stand defenceless before the jury.

For this shepherd wants to make an example out of me.

Skin too dark to see my scars,

Face too black to see my pain,

To you I’m but a part of history,

To you it’s all the same.

I am trapped within your shadow,

as you fail to look behind,

to acknowledge the human inside of me.

Using me as your muse,

your winning token,

I see through the illusion of inclusion.

Yet I’m but a percentage- a minority

and your discomfort- momentary,

while mine spans an eternity.

The cross I carry anchors me to the ocean floor,

lined with the bodies of those who tried before me.

Concealed by the ocean's black veil,

I am being drowned by this leadened skin.

This black-clad armour is killing me,

and like cotton, it doesn’t let go of past trauma,

it soaks it all up until it paralyzes me.

So I ask that you throw me a rope and give me hope,

not that you fight my battles and live my struggles,

but that you quit stargazing and help me face my star-crossed fate.

That you unearth me from this soil I’ve stemmed from, rooted in the best interest of your people.

Otherwise, I’ll be piled on top of those that came before me.

The one’s forced to fight the black man's plight.


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