Trauma My Smile Love was always Thick, iron, Seeking my rolling veins To cut me and protect. I stare at the young couple, The young man with the happy smile “He will leave you” I say quietly, Like the words never left my mouth They do not hear, they walk past me Swinging their hands. I turning to see an old couple on the other bench Looking strangely at me It is the way I had to learn What my black skin in a white world meant. A smile forms on their lips when our eyes meet. I refuse to give them a smile back I am selfish about my smile I do not throw it away, Give it away or wrap it like a fruitcake on Christmas day. I walk away with my smile. The women opened her legs and pushed out a sin, a girl she laid, exhausted as grief overcame her she carried her sin into her home and her husband watched as she avoided her sin she refused to name her, agreeing to any name he called out loud sighing loudly as the priest dipped the child inside a basin of water ‘does she want this child dead?’ she looked disappointed when the child coughed now, sinless and pure all praises/all praises the daughter with a flat nose like a period in a body her body made entirely of poems of tragic love poems she wore black for two months walking out of bed to breastfeed her dragging her feet, her tired was tired her exhaustion was exhausted on the second month, he walked in on her body spread on the hardwood floor she was sobbing he walked away quietly riding his bicycle to the nearest bar to come home half drunk, half ashamed she was gone, but left their child for him. ‘i cannot raise a daughter in this world, she is a sin. i birthed my trauma and i cannot heal myself by staring at my sin’ she wrote.