Skin Color as Inconvenience

Skin Color as Inconvenience
Amber Moss

I don’t visit my grandmother enough
13-hour drive to West Atlanta although
I think about it often

guilt-ridden in my slumber as dreams
disclose the last time I’ve crept
up the concrete steps to see her

weathered face and narrowing eyes
that hide behind LensCrafters
lips of claret that often mistake my name

for my sisters’. I worry sometimes that she’ll grow ill
and no one will tell me. Disease ridden immune system
eats away at her nerves while she smiles

swanking about speaking of luxury fashion
nights at the jazz concert with her boo
kinky curls sweeping across her face.

she is me from another time
marching in 1960s protests
promoting counterculture and education

for black women dipped in inconvenience
as we try desperately to gnaw off
all of our brown inches.

I try to remember a day when charcoal
skin was celebrated in America
not a purportless body covered in ash.

Then I see my grandmother
her skin immersed in cocoa butter
years of credentials lined along

white walls of her home in a white-washed
gentrified neighborhood once home to black
Americans only.

She feeds my skin sweetened oatmeal
reminds me that blackness can be
desirable too.

Amber Moss is a writer and editor in New York City. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of South Florida. She is the author of Bucket of Thorns, published in Spring 2020. Amber’s poetry has appeared in Bewildering Stories and Little Rose Magazine.