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QBG (Quirky Black Girls/Guys) This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

To all my sistas and brothers with
dyed afros
multicolor braids
septum piercings:
this one's for you.
shuffling through old Aaliyah jams with anthems of white teenage suburban angst
it blares through your headphones screaming
“Honey, this iPod isn't big enough for the both of us.”
To all the boys I've seen in Suncoast and Hot Topic,
roaming the hallowed halls of the mall searching for one last Naruto dvd and trippin' in their
Tripp NYC bondage pants:
Dudes,
may the only chains that bind you be connected to your flame-decal wallets.
To my ladies drawing hearts over the faces of
Kurt Cobain,
Morrissey,
Orlando Bloom in that bomb-a** blonde lacefront,
reciting stanzas of love and devotion like Daria in springtime:
“roses are red,
violets are blue,
if this room were set on fire,
I'd, umm, think twice about leaving you.”
Here's to the beautiful brown kids
with dumbbells in their face
and holes in their ears;
who are hetero trans cisgender and queer;
ladies with armpit hair as kinky as the curls on her head;
gentlemen who know that punk rock isn't dead, it's in us!
A Harlem renaissance in our tongues, in our bodies,
here's to the kids who were Growing Up Goth-y.
Shoutout to my homies:
Kravitz and Hendrix,
Badu and Monae,
to the Roots, Bloc Party, and Lisa Bonet,
to Langston and Baker and Mos Def and Willow,
to Iman, Gambino, Hurston and Cee-Lo
to Lady Angelou, George Clinton, RuPaul,
we are the awkward black girls/the Chuck Berrys of today.
May the wings of dead activists come take you away;
may the beats of dead rockstars make you wanna sway;
may the ink of dead poets stain your arms with their kiss.
If society forgets you, honey, remember this:
It's our voice that rings in the strings of
electric guitars
guiding minds with our thoughts as if they were stars
we are more than our music

our sports

and our cars
we are the one percent, baby: we are who
we are, so goth we were born
black lipstick and combat
boots and
Grace Jones,
we are Nina Simone
we are everything we've never known and yet wanted to be.
here's to the kids you never see on tv:
to my girls with no a**es,
round brothers wearing glasses:
this is not just a phase.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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