I was a girl who strived to dream.
Believed the world was how they told me:
Safe. Good. Peaceful.
Rested on good and bad.
I was told smiling wins the world.
The world taught me something else.
I was a teenager stumbling herself
while climbing staircases.
Girls are no longer playing Barbies, but guys’ hearts.
Wearing my coils attracted laughter, not eyes,
had to silence my African blood to survive.
I am a woman fighting against the world.
Somehow, the world is letting me win.
I was told knowledge wins the world.
Love taught me something else.
The smarter I get, the more intimidating I seem.
They seek intelligence, but when facing it, they pull apart.
They withstand injustice and inequality,
Yet repel a woman longing to fight on their side
Celia M. Ayala Lugo