My dear friend, may we bathe in the moon light while walking the Moors.
Frolic in the sweet jasmine scent whilst embracing ours amours.
Tumble down hills with laughter amongst the autumn falling leaves.
Cruise in a baby blue Cadillac with fluttering hair made by the breeze.
Capture lit summer days with endless screaming tears of joy.
Explore exotic dark nights whilst you watch me banging my toy.
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
We wear a mask to bury our shame,
And sometimes to appear the same.
Each morning we find our dress,
And that mask to cover our awful stress.
We walk amongst our friends and peers,
Dreading the mask won’t hide our fears.
We wear the mask to obscure that pain,
All this pretending is done in vain.
Who is brave enough to shine,
Shun the mask and be authentically fine.
whether you are 14, 28 or 65,
you will stumble upon someone
who will start a fire in you that cannot die.
However, the saddest, most awful
truth you will ever come to find––
is they are not always
with whom we spend our lives