Poetry: Nothing Less Than A Masterpiece

Paint on palette
To brush on white canvas
Bristles infused with
Acrylic paints

You sketch the physicality of me
Abstract as it may be
Blurring the lines of my formation
Making me distinctive from your other illustrations

Long feet, thin legs and pencil-sized thighs
Small hips
With a medium rare,
Barely there
Flat stomach, compressed chest, scrawny arms and slender fingers
Elongated face
With oversized, salmon lips
And dark eyes
Hair coarse
When wet or dry
Soft and silky
When processed and fried

Stroke each feature unevenly
Have nothing artificial
Nor superficial about me
Distort me in great detail
Paint me a diverse mixture of browns
Dull and golden
Blending butterscotch
Together with a dash of Honey
Adding a splash of cinnamon
To represent the Native-American in me

Leave me bare
Allow my being to breathe
Genderfy me a woman
Christen me an African
File me under Afro-American
Label me black
Call me a Bitch to my face
Whisper Nigga behind my back
Coat me over
Not once but twice
To conceal my true identity

Splatter vivid colors behind me
So that people will be drawn to delve into the history it took
To create me
Make me appear to have peace of mind
A kind heart
And a belief in the divine

Unveil me at some
Elegant exhibition
Present me to the public for mass consumption
Give them no explanations
Just stand back
And let your peers try to define me
Watch as they psychoanalyze
And scrutinize
Making their own ass-sumptions

Listen as they claim to see past my complexities
And all the fears that plague me
Then defend me
Honor me
Boast of your real-life artistry
And entitle me
“Nothing Less Than a Masterpiece”

© Patrice Washington

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