Yellawoman | The New Engagement


By Jessica Gallion
Yellawoman poetry art

No Animal


Black Man ain't no animal

Just because you hunt, shoot, and kill him for sport

Don't mean you get trophy his head on precinct walls

Interesting how he never becomes endangered

Funny how he survives after years and years of buying, selling, trading and killing him off


Black Man ain't no animal

And although he is a rare bird,

Doesn't mean you get to strategically pluck and clip his wings with a full clip as we watch a clip of it on social media

See he be ebony Phoenix

Rising despite gun smoke

Soaring high above expectations with every degree

Every black owned business

Every sacred marriage

Every son and daughter that knows him and every community that depends on him for their very existence


I'm telling you,

He ain't no animal

Because if he was

He would have ripped yo ass open long time ago

Sank his teeth in, dragged your lifeless body back into the cave

Devoured your ignorance and left your bones discarded for all to see


He don't want none of yo kind running though his veins

Never wants to become like the animals that treat him like prey


But since he is hunted,

He knows when to run

How to hide

Doing his best to dodge bullets

Traps and trick ropes just so he don't end up hanging from one


Running don't make him no punk

He is breaking free from the cage they tried to put him in

He could never be tamed or trained

No matter how much you whip him,

The shape he is in will never be for your benefit

The day he turns animal, is the day,

The jungle falls!



Double Dutch


They wouldn't let me play

Yesterday was different

We laughed, traded a peanut butter sandwich for a Thermos of gumbo

Capri Suns and Juicy Juice

Double Dutched with a friendship rope

Made up dances and braided each other's hair...

Toothbrush and Pro-Styled slicked down edges

I only needed more water

Rode bikes and skated pass the cute boy's house

A liquor store run for penny candy, Nowlaters and bags of chips!!

I paid for everything and more

We played until porch lights flickered and our mamas called us home


But today, I was alone

Today I wasn't a part of or a reason for their budding sisterhood nor would I reap the fruit of it

My hair was too long today

My skin, too fair to be seen standing next to theirs

My tomboyish swag was too rough to be one of the girls

Today, I was alone

No one cared if I cried or what new dance moves I brought

Today I was a threat


"You think you all dat" they said

Funny how I felt all of nothing

I wanted to play and they was being mean

I didn't understand why

On the same porch we did each other's hair, they told me I couldn't come near 



I stood still

Hoping the sadness that showed on my face would be enough for my "friends" to just stop


But it didn't


Why didn't I walk away?

Why did I stand there and allow them to hurt me more?

It's like the longer I stood there in my light skin, long hair, and tomboyish swag

The more ammo I gave them to send me running home crying

And I did

I cried and ran

And they laughed and chased me

Chased me like a mob running a witch out of town

I kept running




I gazed over my skin wondering what was wrong with vanilla

I didn't care that they were caramel, butterscotch, or chocolate

I have all these flavors in my family and we were a big ole sundae

Full of sweetness

Why don't they like ice cream?

I guess my 31 flavors were too much for their selective palates

I couldn't help that I had and liked variety

I was raised that way!


Didn't matter if I was black

My black wasn't they black

I was just a white girl trying to be black and I must have been out-blacking them because they were trying to remind me I was white

Never used those terms to describe my "friends," let alone anyone else

But today, I was all of that and nothing else



Standing Naked In Front of Amiri Baraka


Who you be

This body has be all twisted

Yella woman

Goodly breasted

Belly birthin beast in fire


Who you be

What dirt they blow you from

What Louisiana plantation porch shade yo great gramma high yella house nigga skin field from


Yella woman

Hair wrap and legs wrap 'roun massuh

Create linage

Whip neva touch yo' skin


What you know'bout hurtin

Stop yo cryin

Stop drownin in yo sorrow

Jump up and swim in sun


I see you shining yella woman

Who threw you in darkness

Who stole yo stars

Who you be... Tell me

Jessica Gallion was born in Shreveport, Louisiana and raised in Los Angleles where pen and poetry became her best friend. Inspired by the works of Maya Angelou and Langston Hughes, she decided that she too had a story to tell. She is a nomad for the art, never fitting into a particular place and therefore making space for herself wherever her voice is needed. She writes for the misunderstood, the hurt and abused, she writes for you. As a single mother, a creole woman, a woman who knows the fire and flaws of life, she uses her pen to shine light in dark places. She has performed at Vibrations, The World Stage, Flight School and many other venues around Los Angeles. Jessica is the 2016 champion of the Spoken Word Voices Heard poetry slam and a graduate of the Community Literature Initiative. Her forthcoming book of poetry "Can't No Woman, Woman Like Me" is set to be released in 2017.

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On May 1st, we announced the winners of our Flash Fiction Contest: Thomas Garcia (1st), Rick Krizman (2nd), and Rios de la Luz (3rd). Read more.

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