Women's Day Series: Black Woman Down, Black Woman Up

“left” © OsyMizpah Unuevho

Black Woman Down, Black Woman Up
by Shirley Jones-Luke

after JP Howard

We black women hold worlds in our hands, not on our backs, sometimes our hearts do fail we are perfection, but live in imperfection we wear masks, black women have many faces night hides our tears, until daybreak we are neither alone nor lonely, our spaces are full of strain from the weight we carry in our hearts we inhale then we exhale a solo journey

of our hearts

We mumble towards ceilings peeling from our stale breaths our secret conspiracies our masks now smother us our silence kills us we float towards heaven the stars overshadow the moon black women make their own magic brilliant like the sun we shine even in death

our melanin buries the dawn

poem: Shirley Jones-Luke is a poet and a writer. Ms. Luke lives and works in Boston, Mass. She has an MFA from Emerson College. Her work reflects her experiences as a woman of color in today’s world. Shirley was a 2016 and 2017 Watering Hole Poetry Fellow.

photograph: OsyMizpah Unuevho (ig: @the_mizpah) writes and collects poetry and rock samples from everywhere. Member of the Hill-top Arts Foundation, he is a road photography, mental paintings enthusiast and lover of rock, indie, experimental folk, shoegazing et cetera feminine bands and he loves the deep in everything.

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