“brown eyes” by Conney Williams


the humid and hard poverty
of her country hid slothfully
behind the brown of her eyes
and she is sixteen
still comfortable inside
the white and blue
of her Catholic uniform
those brown
sunburned high school eyes
laying between a stranger’s
sheet  comforter  and lust
these eyes
that have known more lovers
than math exams
her mother and father
were named Iceberg and Slim
the family needs to eat
and they know best
how to exploit tenderness
and those chocolate eyes
and her female
are California 1849
they hold barter within them
these parochial brown eyes
like those Columbus
saw and raped in 1492
or was it some other discoverer
of nations and people
who already knew who they were
but were waiting waiting
patiently to be colonized
and she is laying between
the sheet and comforter
ready for her body
to be filled with the flags
of all those countries
she has never visited
all those countries
whose ambassadors
whose only concern
planting inside fertile ground
however she is ready
not to matriculate
she is ready to peel away skin
ready to disrobe  virginity
so that when she goes to school
walks through the neighborhood
or is seen on her
favorite social media
she looks more than poor
more than the reflection
from those brown eyes
that lie to her about who she is
she is almost seventeen
and wants a Samsung Galaxy 3
not a Samsung Galaxy 4 or 5
because it’s more valuable
than who she is now
or can ever see herself to be
it is worth more than
whom her parents
can ever convince she is

Conney D. Williams is a poet, actor, community activist, and performance artist. He has two collections of poetry “Leaves of Spilled Spirit from an Untamed Poet (2002)” and “Blues Red Soul Falsetto (2012).” He is the Artistic Director at the World Stage and Coordinator for the Anansi Writers Workshop.


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