etheree for black women

By JP Howard//

black women we be trying to hold worlds
on our backs, in our hearts without fail
some days we fail at perfection
black girl magic is a mask
we pull off when night comes
alone in our world,
weight off our backs
we exhale
(a) lone

in pillows
wet with our tears
our untold secrets
we breathe without our masks
we sit still in our silence
some nights we float on crescent moons
black girl magic shining under stars
we gather our pieces before daylight

etheree for black women was previously published as a Poem of the Week on Split This Rock’s poetry database