brown girl

Brown girl
lower your gaze.
Didn’t anyone tell
you that modesty lies
within the eye of
the beholder?
Brown girl
study harder,
put the stories away.
What man would want
to marry a girl with a
head so heavy with clouds?
Brown girl
be quieter.
Have you ever heard
a flower bloom?
Brown girl
stop giggling.
Laughter is for
shameless women.
Brown girl
smile more.
Haven’t we given
you everything
you’ve ever needed?
Brown girl
stay out of the sun.
Keep your mouth shut.
Head down. Fire smoldered.
Brown girl
we pray you have a son.
Brown girl is witchcraft.
Brown girl is wicked.
Brown girl holds the
power to heal.
Brown girl
you are smoke from
an incense stick.
Brown girl,
brown girl.
You were always
meant to disappear.
—  Pavana