My mother told me tales of all the men who called to her.
Crystallized like cane sugar on their dry tongues. They sucked her milk through their teeth and let it drip down their chins, slow in case it dried too soon in her sun.
My mother’s skin is sweet cream white, tall wench with Black lips and straight nappy hair. I prayed for my brown scales to molt. Beauty to me was white passing like her.
When I looked in her eyes, I dreamed myself translucent.
I saw what it meant to thrill.
Tifara Knowles was born and raised in the Deep South and has been writing original poetry since 2013. She has shared her poetry on the TEDx stage and competed across the country in the art of spoken word. Tifara is a published poet with work appearing in online and print magazines, and she recently self-published a book of poems entitled “Honeysuckle: Poems and Stories from a Black Southerner” in memory of her ancestor who was a victim of racial violence. She is passionate about storytelling and uses her words as a vehicle for advocacy for the BIPOC community.