I Should Have Known


You kill me.
Lord knows I die inside when I see you.
You suck the air from my lungs,
You suspend my breathing.
You. Kill me.
Lord knows I die inside when I
See you smile
When I
See you strut like the king that you are
Bronze and pale and white and brown and black,
and African, European, and Asian, Caucasian and…
Races aside,
You are beautiful,
No really,
You kill me.

I met you not so long ago,
You met her not long after,
And I remember thinking to myself,
I can’t compete with that.
Her hair was long and her skin was light
Her curves were bold, and her face “just right”
Her cheeks were soft and defined,
Her lips were plump and pink,
Not large and full, not like mine.
Her waist cinched where it should,
As if the gods held it in place to make way for “dat ass”.
Her butt was like the moon dancing to the rhythm of a sun that had not risen.
As it should.
She had a poetic build.
Like a dhow embracing the waters,
Like the words of a thousand authors,
Her body was the union of beauty and rhythm
Like an ampersand, she was a sign that represented a three letter word,
And I, I. Could not. Compete. With that.

Her ass defied gravity like two planets co-existing next to each other.
It was a masterpiece,
Cause “dat ass” was formed for a goddess.
Her lips were rich and pink.
Rich with captivating talk and pink with blood rushing to and fro after each and every seductive bite of her lower lip.
Her skin radiated under the sun
Almost reflecting the joy of the sun itself,
Light and pale, soft and smooth, fair and lovely.
And her beauty was exotic like a foreign flower,
Something your eyes had never seen,
Had never known.
And deep down I knew.
I could not compete with that.

See, I was born thick
Like my mother, and her mother, and her mother, and the mothers before her.
Like my ancestors,
I was full within and without,
No tiny waists or flowing hair,
Just curves all about, sexy all around…
And it is sad, cause all I knew was I was nothing like her.
But I wish i knew,
That to every curve of her ass,
My bosom was more,
And to every strand that danced in the wind,
My dark locks were more
And to every shade she was light,
My bronze was more.
Not more than her, but more than I knew.

You see what I didn’t know is that
Although her ass was made for a goddess
My breasts were carved to be touched by the gods.
Apollos and Zeus would descend Olympus,
Thor and Odin would stand and stare,
At the wonder that rests on my chest.
I didn’t know that
My hair was not created to flow and bounce,
But to defy gravity,
To coil and to curl,
Each strand embracing each strand like the story of my people embracing our culture,
Strand embracing strand of tradition, embracing strands of unity, strands of peace, strands of passion.
To give me identity.
To give me a firm stand,
To make a stand,
To know who I am when I say, I am…
I wish I knew that
The shades of color, the distribution of melanin on this thin layer of leather that covers my body, that covered her body
That I call skin,
That she calls skin.
Was just that. Skin.
Without value that is greater than the other,
No winners or losers,
Just skin.
That the melanin on mine was an asset to be proud of,
Not a liability to be ashamed of.
That the shades of brown on mine were no less than the shades of white on hers.
That we were not competing.
That we had the same advantage.
That we were different
Different in every way but shared one thing in common.
Our humanity.
Yellow, brown, purple, black, green, and white we share our humanity.
But I didn’t know that.
I was simply not like her,
If only I..
But I was not.
But I should have known.
Really, I should have.
I should have known.
I should know,
I am not her.
I am other.

I am fire and ice
I am wind and rain
I am the story and the title
I am the book and the spine
I am what your eyes see,
And don’t see
And with all that I am and am not,
Baby you still kill me
Cause you see her too,
All that she is and I’m not.
You suck the air from her lungs
As much as you do mine
And when you do,
You kill me a little too.
Cause through your eyes
I saw her beauty
Masking over mine
Sly. Subtle. Savage.
Cause you saw my thick and didn’t equate it to beauty,
Cause you saw my melanin and didn’t see class,
Cause you saw my locks and did not see my culture.
They say beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder,
But it seems I have none.
Cause your eyes have wondered
Cause your eyes are locked to the lighter blue eyed version of mine
Cause your eyes are deep
But not clear enough for me.
I should have known.

Tracy Eric Writes… still.




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