Don’t believe in miracles They told me

Perhaps when I was 6
When I discovered 

Men wanted to look at my body

And touch my skin
Not because they loved me

Or thought I was special 
Beautiful they called me

Through droopy voices

And scruffy 3 day beards
Perhaps it was then 

I stopped

Believing in ordinary magic

Poured into morning coffee cups
My sisters braided my hair

A ritual in the morning 

Sit still

Digging, prodding scalp combs

My hair was too white

Like me
At school I was too brown

But not brown enough to belong 

So I sat still 

Hoping straight braids

Passed down between hands

Would hide the poor dirty truth

I didn’t belong 
I didn’t. 
In a world with no magic 

Or miracles 

How could I ever exist 

When I myself was

A miracle 
Still alive after the dark silence

Of being small 


Except when he told me

I was beautiful 
There is no amount of soap to wash it away

The spit of his sour morning breath

Or the browness I felt

Under my skin
Only the tightness of braids 

Felt like my home

As we did magic spells

Binding us together 

A home of children

Mothering children 

And trying to hold onto 

What was right and holy
Mourning light becomes

Morning light 

Miracles kissing my world

Birds sing 

Dew mist fairies 

Evaporate into morning sun
I sit alone, 

Waiting for braid my daughter’s hair

And kiss my son good morning 
May these miracles feel at home in magic 

And never know

What it means to be beautiful 

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