heavy named girl

By: Kahill Perkins

heavy named girl, 

Your value is that of the anchor tied to your feet, the depth of your mother’s tongue when she looked upon you,

saw your grandmother’s eyes in your soft brown face and

pulled from history the consonants and long vowels that may jangle around in her apron

for many years to come,

When you meet me,

correct me if i am wrong,

take your name out of my mouth, shake it out like spring linens, dust it off —

place it softly between us, with a knowing smile i will apologize,

say unto you i know the feeling — my mother tied a weight to my feet at birth,

she called me “little bird”

expected me to fly with anchors for tennis shoes,

and kissed my eyes when they cried tears from their weight, let me cut your shoes off,

throw them in the river, let me show you how to dance to the tune of your

heavy name — girl.

let me show you to never apologize

To take your name from their mouths — dust it off, and

Never give it back,

Heavy, name, girl.