What Do You See?

What do you see?

When I look in the mirror I always see me but, once I leave my room that’s not all it seems to be.

Young black woman, that’s who everyone else sees.

But when it comes to society that’s all it is and nothing is underneath.

Strong, resilient, loud, ghetto,

My temple has become a pit stop for opinions that chip away at my skin.

Don’t hurt, don’t feel, don’t laugh, don’t smile.

Take on all the problems of the world, put it on your shoulders, and walk a couple thousand miles.

We were made to be flowers that can flourish in the dark because not only are you black but you’re a

man’s counterpart

So don’t let that chip get too heavy on your shoulder when they say you’re so strong because the

moment you slip, you’re suddenly weak and all wrong

You look so harsh and unapproachable...

Excuse me, ma’am, that’s just my face or maybe you just took account of my race.

So I crack a smile and stand up straight.

I stand firm in my words, but for you I’m way too loud so.

I’m asked to turn it down and I crack another smile.

Wait, here comes a white male in his twenties with a stern expression and an unshakable voice suddenly,

he’s exactly what you look for in your first choice?

Society has hung me and all my sisters up on a coat rack and put us to the side.

Thinking we’re so strong we can last all the storms ... right?

Wrong.

My skin’s just like yours

An organ fragile to the touch.

Yet here I am broken and tired from the simple words you utter because they have finally become too much.

I retreat back to my room and in my mirror it’s no longer me.

The person that sits here before you is a black girl broken by society.
— Toyin Lasisi, House of Sagan