On Loving Her

Written by Eve Greenlow

I am in love with a girl.
She is kind and strong.
I know what she deserves, which is so much.
She is beautiful and black and proud
and she struggles taking care of her 3c curls
but she knows it's worth it.
She has an unhealthy relationship with crunchy corn puffs
but they're very tasty, so it's ok.
She thinks binge watching british baking shows is all she needs to do to prepare for studying abroad in England.
She is wrong. She knows this.
She has curves and not all of them are in the right places
But because they are her curves
they are in the right places.
Every morning when I look into her
hazel eyes,
the brown from her black father
the blue from her white mother,
I am thankful to have the opportunity
to have another day with her.
I didn’t always feel that way.
Growing up and learning to love
a black girl in a society
screaming at you not to love black girls
is difficult and sometimes, no,
always painful.
Painful the way Stephon Clark was murdered in
my own backyard.
Difficult the way it is to watch a non-black actress
dance around an apology for
singing along to a rap song.
It is even more difficult when the voices
telling you you aren't good enough
are bouncing off the walls of your own house
or are coming from your own friends
who, now that you are physically and temporally
separated, you realize were never actually your friends.
Friends wouldn't tell you your hair looks weird when it's curly,
that those clothes don't really look good on you,
that you're not really black.
It has taken years for me to understand her
to treat her with the care she needs
to reach out for help
when she is drowning, gasping for breath
in a world that seems designed to crush her.
I am there for her.
I will continue to be there for her
to appreciate her
to, hopefully, guide her in the right direction
to love her
to accept her.
Because her love will always
matter the most.
Eve Greenlow is a poet currently living in NYC, writing for Ars Poetica. She is originally from Sacramento, California and studied at Pacific University in Oregon.

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