You Were Supposed to Love Me

Our hearts beat in syncopated rhythm Our breaths took turns, your exhale to my inhale

Taking in your essence, containing galaxies

Our ebony riches attracted implacable enemies

greedy to steal all they lacked, not able to understand that theft of that magnitude

would not escape divine displeasure

As we were torn apart, you promised to always love me,

no matter whether,

in this world, or the next

But you and I were forced to turn away from each other. I was swallowed up in the monstrous embrace of an insane master.

To cry out for your protection meant your death I could only bury my grief in the deepest part of me.

My silence became your shame.

Denied everything that defined being a man;

days, weeks, months years of answering to

‘boy,’ ‘nigger’ ‘rastus’ ‘coon.’

‘Sir,’ ‘man,’ ‘husband,’ ‘father,’ ‘mister,’

were not yours to use.

Not even after the sweet Day of Jubilee.

Hundreds of years of pain inflicted by white hands that refused to dirty themselves

in destroying indigenous peoples, plants, animals.

Hands that formed nooses at the slightest sign of resistance.

To whom could you turn for solace?

To whom could you turn who did not reflect back to you your emasculated image?

I was transformed into a temptress

whose beauty was reserved

for unconscionable beasts.

How do we forgive ourselves?

How do you leave your path of

revenge against ‘the man’ by taking his woman, proving

his depraved perception of your virility,

leaving your woman to walk alone, crippled by feelings of being unworthy of love.

You were supposed to love me.

Blond hair and blues eyes used to erase the memory

of your mother’s smiling face, her protective embrace.

Raven hair and almond eyes temporarily blinded you,

obliterating images of my ancient ‘locks’ and midnight eyes promising eternal love.

Striking irony, perhaps divine karma. Historical erasure of Dahomey’s Amazons

restored by pragmatic white screenwriters. The Dora Milage, dominate our dreams, giving no quarter in the fight to reclaim our breathtaking beauty.

Unwelcome hands fail to touch our

ineffable essence of invincibility,

sheathed in satin skin,

eager to feel your loving caress.

I have removed the false images that kept you

mentally and emotionally blind and shackled.

You were supposed to love me.

Now, you can.

Mi Sueno Vivo