“in broad dayliGht black girls look ghost”

A Poem by Roya Marsh

March 31, 2020  By Roya Marsh

Carefully, i arrange my disguise. It has been designed not to stand
out . . . i decide to look like a poor Black woman.

—Assata Shakur


i’m good with my tongue. it
makes me most visible.
with a shut mouth I’m a good dresser. a

flapping tongue makes me:

sexy well

learned a


my voice is more pronounced than my skin tone and
i need to know why
i track down my ancestry through DNA
i track down someone with my last name
she tell me it’s hers
she white
says it’s funny how I’m black i
say, “ha-ha”
results say i’m hers
in history
in old law
in old English
say her great greats
owned my greatest on
this soil.
“wow,” she say
and i hold my tongue. tight. between molars. ’til it
bloody and useless
’til i can’t speak
’til she don’t see me
and swallow back the blood i ain’t ask for in the first place



From dayliGht by Roya Marsh. Used with the permission of MCD x FSG Originals. Copyright © 2020 by Roya Marsh.

Roya Marsh
Roya Marsh
Roya Marsh, author of the poetry collection dayliGht, is a native of the Bronx, New York and a nationally recognized poet, performer, educator, and activist. She is the Poet in Residence at Urban Word NYC, and she works feverishly toward LGBTQIA justice and dismantling white supremacy. Marsh’s work has been featured on NBC, BET, Button Poetry, Write About Now Poetry, Def Jam’s All Def Digital, and Lexus Verses and Flow, and in Poetry magazine, Flypaper Magazine, Frontier Poetry, The Village Voice, Nylon, HuffPost, and The BreakBeat Poets Volume 2: Black Girl Magic (2018).

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