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Black Barbie

Daddy straddled the heap of toys that lived on the floor of our playroom in Brentwood, Long Island. Tiny plastic arms splintered out as though bidding for a chance to accompany me to Becky Carrigan’s* sleepover that night. Daddy sifted unceremoniously through

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“The Passing”

Clumps of wrinkled, white flesh hang from grandmother’s face and pool in the nape of her neck like turkey waddle. Her eyelids flutter but never quite open. I stroke her left hand, liver-spotted and marked with bluish-green bruises from the IVs. She

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Not my Daughter

“Sit still.” I braced myself for the familiar sting of the plastic comb against some vulnerably-exposed area of my head, neck or shoulders. A few seconds passed and I slowly opened my clenched fists and eyes, relaxed my hunched shoulders, and tried

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The Motherbaby

My daughter is black. Skin like turned earth. Eyes the color of midnight. A black freckle on the underside of her wrist matches mine and another just to the left of her smile. This land does not make space for her so

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In Remembrance of Fast Girls

They built a church on the land where my body was broken. Parishioners come every Sunday morning believing it to be holy ground. Yet I know this to be the ground where my soul was desecrated one Thursday evening. Prior to being

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