Poetry. ‘How Do I Feel?’ by Latonya Pennington.

Black Women Art

Someone asks me,
how are you?
and I reply,
“I’m fine.”

this is true.

Other times,
I’m lying.

how do I explain
how I feel
when I don’t know
how to feel?

Instead of
expressing my feelings,
I shove them in a closet
and close it tight.

At night,
I see monsters
in the closet.

I see black dragons
who breathe poison
and make me relive
bad moments.

I also see vampires
that suck away
my self esteem.

I don’t slay these monsters.

I just lock the closet
and ignore them.

How do I feel
when I don’t know
it’s okay to feel?

I’ve heard black women
sing about the blues,
but not about the black.

The invisible blackness
that creeps in like fog
to turn blue skies grey.

The invisible blackness
that makes sweet food
taste bitter in my mouth.

The invisible blackness
that makes me feel
like a quarantined disease.

I am a black woman
to be human.

How do I feel depressed
without being told
“Be a Strong Black Woman”?

How do I feel angry
without being labeled
The Angry Black Woman?

I want to feel
and be felt!

the sharp,
jagged pieces
of my hurt,
the hot,
boiling lava
of my anger,
the cold,
freezing icicles
of my depression!

Feel all this
and know that
are as natural
as the seasons.

For every blistering summer
and every chilling winter,
there is a chance
to let your guard fall down
like autumn leaves
and let your soul be born anew
like the blossoms of spring.

About the Author.

Latonya Pennington is a freelance writer and rising poet from Alabama. As a freelance writer, she has written for places such as Atlanta Blackstar and The Mary Sue. She is also a proud black girl nerd who loves fantasy and sci-fi, American and Japanese animation, reading books, and learning about black music history.