Poetry by Charles Joseph

International Women’s Day with a Black Woman

International Women’s Day with a Black Woman
Across the table from me.

Her lips marinate words and emotions that
On the surface is nervous
But a Million Women March under her skin
I mean the power is truly from within

A whole queen-dom

To see how her smile is a bit timid
Lips move side to side
And before I say something stupid, she

Spit a whole sky out of her mouth.
Each time. In each universe.

It makes me wonder
What is this black woman thinking, a few seats over
It makes me ponder
About all the black women who have mortalized ideas of a God
And yet, men still make them suffer. I’ve made them suffer.

I once drugged myself in an attempt at
Reaching awakening, enlightenment, elevation.
The white girl across from me
Just as high as I could be
Smirked and said

I never thought I’d see a poet passed out on a couch across from me.

I laughed.
I always knew that moment meant something.

Right now, sitting across a Black Woman
It makes me think of all the moments I was across the table
Across the couch
A few seats over from a Black Woman
Yet, I didn’t need drugs or anything
To reach an awakening, enlightenment, elevation

Because, you see, Black women are a mortal’s proof
That God exists
That humans have God in them

The way they awake, enlighten, and elevate a whole society
You would think they were the ones who
Put heaven where it needed to be
They orchestrated the creation of the universe
They are the pendulum that keeps the world balanced

No matter how much men aim to tilt it.
They did
And they are

And each time I sit across from this girl
A Black Woman
See the timid light that echoes out of the corners of her cheeks
Sincere passion materializing from her lips
And heavenly symphony mortalizing from her thoughts
I am struck with the always present realization:
The lowest denomination that she
A Black Woman
Could possibly be, is Deity.


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