I want black boys
to cry,
to know it’s okay to show emotion.
To tell me how it feels
to have an expanding
sphere of fire
waiting to explode into anger;
the only sentiment
they have been forced to express.

I want black girls
to know,
when water washes over them
it is not to eradicate sin
but to cleanse
perceptions of the aggressor.
To purify the mind of ill ideas;
you are not beautiful,
you are not worthy.

I want to tell
future generations
the polluted air
they breathe
was once poisoned with more
hatred and bitterness.
That to inhale meant
exhaling so long,
you lost your breath.

I want to tell
past generations
they have made our lives

on this Earth possible.
That they dug through the
rigid dirt with a rusty spade
so we could fork the soft soil,
still shovelling our way
into the world.

-Amy Boyd