Melanin Beauty

You see before I could read,
the world had already burdened me
with the color of my chocolate skin.
The world had taught me that
I was less than perfect outside and within.
You see I didn't begin to understand
that the, that man
determines what is beautiful.
...What is strange.
...What is ugly.
...What is beautiful? 
"Am I beautiful?"  "I could be if I was just a few shades lighter"
I constantly answered back.
But then I discovered a whole new world
when I read the eloquent words
of women who reveled in
their beautiful melanin.
Beautiful melanin queens
who dared not be apologetic
for the skin they were born in.
That is where I found my grasp of self confidence
In between the lines of reading the self love
of their natural fro and coming to love my own.
I carry it with me even now
as a suit of armor
that even the strongest weapon can never infiltrate. 

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