issue 9: june 2016, Poetry
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black girl, black girl by The Girl Who Smells of Sunflowers

Wash the makeup off your face before you sleep.
You have survived another day of pretending you could be as beautiful as Barbie
Wrap your hair up, you already spent a day in the shop you don’t want to sweat out your per,
Remove the bra, let your breasts free
Hurry now you have to be up early for church
The lord doesn’t like tardiness.
Get up, you smell that food cooking in kitchen
Go get it before it gets cold
Brush yo teeth, wash your face
Take a quick shower before the hot water runs out
Hurry eat your food and go get dress
Put your pantyhose on with your dress
Unwrap your hair, it’s nice and silky
Wear your makeup but not too much
You know the church mothers will kiss it off
Be careful how you sit in church
Cross your legs present yourself like a lady
Do not dress like those sluts
do not dress like a woman who encites lusts in men
it’s a sin to want men to want you
Those girls are nice to look at but we know
men don’t marry those kinds of women
Men like things that other men haven’t had
That’s how you catch a good one.
Oh…look at that dyke over there!
Why does she dress like that?
Don’t look to hard she might think you like her
No granddaughter of mine is gay…
Look at the boy over there isn’t he cute?
You should smile more
you look so much prettier
try to be flirty
yu look so mean!
Why are you so serious?
So damn angry.
Do you ever just relax ?
You can’t save the world!
This is why you haven’t gotten a boyfriend you are too serious!
Just lighten up!
Well just be lucky you’re not like those girls
who’ve been used!
Did you enjoy the sermon?
Listen to the reverend’s preachin’
one day you’re gonna meet a fine man of God
Do not be unequally yoked.
Happily ever after.
Have some pretty babies.
Curly hair.
Don’t have too many.
Take care of your body.
Take care.
Be pretty be pretty be pretty.
Be this be that be this. be that.

Grandma no you don’t know what’s best for me
Your stories of nostalgic past do nothing for me the 21st century .
Between the likes, reblogs, and shares.
You still wanna hold the string.
The black girl you want me to be doesn’t live in your playhouse anymore.
The black girl you want all closed mouth, clasped hands. All achy back. No appreciate. All starry eyed over some nameless boy. All dreams of church pews.
She is a moody, romantic, dark eyed
Dances in the shadows
With a star in her throat
A flame on her tongue.
Awkward at times.

Fat, femme, queer.
Everything. And nothing and nothing at all.
Most day i am trying to learn how to deal with all my identities. Im not sure if ill be able to tell you or if you’ll understand because sometimes the safest place is in front of audience, microphone, and notebook. And not with your family.


The Girl Who Smells of Sunflowers is a 23 year old bisexual/questioning woman from the South. She is a Superhero enthusiast, subpar feminist, bad poet, foodie, a part of the Toonami Generation and tryna figure this life thing out. You can find her on instagram and twitter.

Photograph by Petrose Tesfai, a 20 year old East African artist living in Toronto, Canada. You can find more of his work on his tumblr here

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