Hope is a fickle thing.
It seems contagious and infectious
And worms itself deep into these creatures - Human Beings.
I’ve studied them you see
Watched and taken notes on their lives and environment
I’ve studied them - as they have studied me.
When once they rejected my presence
I now have come to copy their winks, blinks, tones and screeches
And now it seems that all their fears of me were just pretence.
I must be careful as you know
That I don’t become one of them as I am very good at pretending
I can walk and talk as they do - every movement is so slow.
They are not cautious creatures
Reckless and wild things, disaster meets everyone
These ugly beings with pleasant features.
I am afraid they are quite doomed
I’ve seen enough of their destruction and anger
They inflict upon their hosts - always deeper wounds
No, I’d write this species off
There’s nothing good about a single one
If it were not for Hope - infectious like a cough.
—  c-d-poetry, “Ugly Creatures”

Uzo Aduba, Danielle Brooks, Laverne Cox, Vicky Jeudy, Adrienne C. Moore and Samira Wiley of Orange is the New Black on the July 2015 cover of ESSENCE magazine.