To Love A Black Woman

i thought i knew how

to love a black woman,

what to say, to show her i did.

i walked up to her,

and told her she was beautiful,

absolutely divine, dipped in magic,

and clothed in glory.

i told her she had no need

to hide it, or fake it

her eyes teared up,

but she looked away,

put on her armour,

and went about her day.

that evening I asked her why

she had disregarded my words,

and covered her beautiful self.

she stood simply still,

looked me straight in the eye,

and said the words

that truly taught me how:

“you do not decide when, or if

i should paint this canvas.”

“you do not decide when, or if

i am beautiful.”

Takhona Grace