i stand amongst a field of flowers
my dark brown toes push up gemstones from
the earth, extricated from their white python roots.
i pick them up and place them in my
cellulite, under my tongue, weave a crown
with them and braid them into my hair.
the sun’s rays catch them and twirl me
without my feet ever moving anywhere.
this is the closest i’ll ever come to being light-skinted.
the jewels absorb into my pores, scratching
against my teeth, infusing my blood with
glitter. they rest at the pit of my belly,
spinning on the tips of their toes.
i carry them out into the world, plucking up
daisies, jasmine, moonflowers, for their
names. no roses. roses we mourn with.
i step onto the concrete, leaving the field to
rot in fragrance, the hem of my white dress catching
grass stains. i emphasize my disco ball navel to people.
ask them to count the jewels, the holes, ask
for their soft fingers to touch my glowing carbon
tell them to be feather-light gentle with me.
as long as i got these colored rocks making
my skeleton an arbory, orchard, garden
of a dance party
i can walk the soil of this earth
and whisper to anyone
don’t hurt me
A God That Gives Breath To Be Stolen
He is white. He wants to fuck
everything. He only accepts tithes
in body cash, run red from holes
—holy ATMs, prayer unheard
until too late. Right before gate,
Hell is poplar. Hell is noose. Hell is
strange fruit. and God
Khaya Osborne is a 17-year-old poet and actress born in Berkeley, CA and currently residing in Elk Grove, attending Franklin High School. Ms. Osborne has been writing poetry since she was in the second grade. Her work centers primarily around charting the existence of being a black woman living in America, although topics such as mental health and coming-of-age have been known to Charleston themselves from her fingertips–transitioning into a frenzy of Historical references, extended metaphors, homages to soul food, and jazz connoisseurship–onto her notebook pages, ending in a pirouette of humanity.