At war
With the world it seems
This melanin in my skin
Makes some believe it is a sin
That I live
And if not me, those I would reproduce
My family, my kin
Doesn’t matter if you got a little or a lot
This melanin might still get you shot
And it grieves my soul
Because like the majority of this country,
The “American Dream” is my goal
I acquired thousands in debt
To have confederate flags plastered on my dorm walls
That melanin on me
Always causing trouble…
You know, it gets me followed
A threat
Paired with this tightly coiled hair
And then I speak
And my choice of words and education defy the melanin in my skin
They comment “You’re so articulate!”
Is that to my benefit?
After, I slip into
African American vernacular
But it’s this melanin the world is after
It adopts, appropriates, and chops
And when it’s convenient,
It drops it – stops this melanin cold
Blood cries out from the earth
Melanin was the case that they gave me.

– Tiffany Michele Gibbs