top of page

Issue 17 Out Now

The Complexion Chronicles: “Nayshawn”

Photo by Mwabonje

All jokes aside

You harm me

The stares are my judge and jury

The executioners made a “mistake”

Am I cursed?

My melanin sentenced me to a life suspicion?

A life of distrust in what is supposed to be in my best interest?

My safety?

Cures for man-made ills that label me strong enough to fight

But weak to fall under its euphoria

My love carries heavy

But the attraction I receive is only skin deep

They love us

But don’t ever wanna be us

I’m inherently skillful


Beautiful as they see

But knock out the lights, where could I be?

They will strip that away in a hot second the moment I refuse to turn on my own

If I’m held in such high regard for entertainment

Why am I followed in the streets?

The market?

And when my protectors label me a danger

Before resting me on the pavement

My loved ones and loved strangers sing in the streets

For my name to stay my name

Not a stat

They love us

But they don’t ever want to be us

The stares are my judge and jury

But will never label me guilty

I ride for my own

I’m not for making the sheltered comfortable

I was not sentenced to a life of suspicion



The red that pumps through my heart

That’s the power I have

My skin keeps me humble


bottom of page