Hold me Black girl with the dark eyes
and bright colored braids. Hold me
in that close embrace of kindred spirits.
Sister of mine in the red plaid Tripp pants,
my mother in the Sailor Moon cosplay.
The first time my niece asked me to play
video games, I cried sweet tears. There’s
the joy of a Black girl dancing to K-pop
that nothing else can replace. When she twerks
to that beat, my heart fills with that same pride
Black grandmas feel when they see the fruits
of the labor become doctors and lawyers.

Sweet anime loving Black girl,
this is for you and me. We two hidden
away under the convention center stairs,
bouncing that ass in our costumes. I love
you, metalhead Black girl, come headbang
with me, let those colored locs of yours fly
free in this pit we made.

It is just you and me, nerdy Black girl.
Alternative Black girl. Gay Black girl.
Fat Black girl. Trans Black girl. Disabled
Black girl. Anxious and depressed Black girls, come
sit with me in the heaven we carved out
together. Come dance to K-pop and Paramore
and Beyoncé with me, share the Manic Panic
dye together. Pass the secrets of the sewing machine
and the blunt together. Come be at peace with me,
before they tell us this space is not ours.

Candria Slamin (she/her) is a recent college graduate from Virginia, who is trying to find her place within the writing world. Being a black and gay woman, Candria has taken to poetry and nonfiction to explore the social intersections of her life. In her spare time, she is busy being a nerd on the Internet. She has recently been published by Barren MagazineVariant Literature, and The Knight’s Library Magazine.