Naw, see, a woman is not a sex organ.
She is not determined by the swell & ebb
of her breasts, the pinch of her waist,
the tide of her hips or the surge of her thighs.
She is rose-petal skin & musk & lips
that crumble if you press too hard
& eyes so infinite Poseidon can’t help
sinking. She is also the sum of hardworking cells
& ambitions & doubts & fears &
passions just as a human should be.
She is brilliant before beautiful,
strong before sensual.
She is Angela’s gap-toothed radiance,
& no, I am not shaving my eyebrows” attitude,
bell hooks’ coy smile, always cherry-red & daring.
She is the college student, prison inmate,
soldier, who did not “ask” for it.
the unmasked black eye
the head held high
the hips & thighs & butt so wide
the ground shakes with her
who knows how to say no
who loves every dimple in her skin
whose stretch-marks are as moving
& necessary & mighty as tree-bark scars
who loves deeply & selectively
who knows she is a queen
who reads & learns & speaks
without apologizing for her intelligence
who never lets beauty ideals dictate her desires,
never downplays her significance,
& never lets her sisters forget their worth.