Loving a Black Man

As most everyone who knows me is aware, I’m all about multiculturalism…and equal opportunity love.

But I love black men and love black love. And sometimes I long to feel the warmth and regard of a man whose hair is kinky curly like mine, whose knees get ashy, and who understands my experience as a descendant of ancestors brought here in chains long ago.

And it was this thought of black love—black people loving each other and themselves—in a society that rarely celebrates it, that inspired the following.

Loving a Black Man means
trying to embrace the pain, the anguish, the disappointment, the
degradation of an entire nation
wrapped up in what his dark body represents
and sooth it
with gentle kisses and delicate words of hope

Loving a Black Man means
trying to hold the secret bits of humanity that people are afraid to
recognize, that people turn their heads from, that fill them with
disgust and anger
and comfort them
with the warmest of words and arms rendered fleshy with kindness

Loving a Black Man means
letting go of the hurt, the sadness, the fear and madness that he may
have caused you once upon a time
and opening yourself
to the possibility that you need him, maybe more than you know

Because when you hear his heart
whispered from full sable lips and
see it glow in luminescent eyes
that glisten mahogany like a newborn babe’s
when he turns his gaze upon your face
and spots the reflection of his love
shining gloriously there

And you sense the soft heat of his regard
in the very tips of his fingers
as they lighten upon and linger
ever so gently on your curls
before reaching down to
squeeze your hand

And when he enfolds you
in arms that remain
unbroken by the weight
of this world’s chains

And you smell the ocean
and seas
and sand
and dust
and salt
from journeys generations before
from hardships endured so long ago
in the rough patches of his skin

You know that
you have finally
come home.
And that
Loving a Black Man means
Loving yourself
within whom is encompassed
the multitudes, the generations,
the alpha and the omega,
ad infinitum.

Amen.

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