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Not Coming Out

Ashley is a teen writer who enjoys writing both poetry and columns. She has multiple chronic illnesses and has a dog named Milo.

The realization

My uncles rum soaked slurs were

the perfect side dish to my mothers seasoned shrieks

Dust wept between my cousins toes

as I indent striking lines in the leftover burnt ashes

I am the musician, the poet, the problem


My uncles smoked kisses fight with my aunts

As they fight about black rights, gay rights, and how unnatural it is to be gay

spooned porridge seeps from the mouth of a little brown baby

who will one day realize that the world does not love her


Skinned knees and peeled coconuts

are living the Jamaican dream

Brown babies sleep on brown comforters

as black men fight for the power they wish they had

the power that is stirred deep into

a pot of curry

dissolving to melt the mouths of those same brown babies


The black pits of ackee burn my soul

I am the example of what a good child looks like

but would I still be that if he realized his

sweet niece isn't who he thought she was

As you switch your she's to he's trying to convince

your soul that you're not -that-

Did it work?


© 2021 Ashley-Rose Brown

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