Black Girls are Unicorns


by Joel L. Daniels

tumblr_ntnstz8vV51qenlf9o1_540Pati by yngcreolequeen

“Black girls are unicorns. Yup. I said it. I’ve seen it. Seen it with my own eyes. Now, before anybody gets their Spanx or waist trainers in a bundle, understand…I came directly from the womb of a black woman. My grandmamma on my papa’s side, Elouise, is as about a strong an ox. It is a miracle that you’re still here, I think. My mother was in the Bible somewhere, perhaps. Right before Moses and the pilgrimage, maybe. I see ya’ll in supermarkets and want to know who birthed ya’ll, sometimes. Just want to know who made ya’ll, you know?”


they will tell you maybe that

your curves are made better for zoo’s

or those other places your hips will

not fit into because, what is a size two

besides you, they size you up or down

depends on the crown and how it bends

crows, i have seen, try to nibble

at the salt on your feet

the granules of earth, almost sand,

that perfume the steps. there are

Queens that i have known to jump

off boats and touch the water, tippy

toes grazing waves, splashing heaven down

making it rain. No, not the baby oil and Franklin’s

variety. heard they gonna put Tubman on a bill

that’s cute. 40 acres would suffice


her hands will wash all sins down like

40 ounces, magic wands waving away the

ghosts, Yoruba prayers, probably wind chimes

fluttering about underneath ribs, wingspan

keeping her nourished, feeds on the grass

of elders, burning bushes

and snakes and canes and things

weapon of choice – love.


have you ever been loved by her? seen

what it does to your pores? put me onto black

soap and i use charcoal on my arms and legs and look

at all the dust flying off me, look at how dry my body

was before you came and pricked me, pricked me

and let the blood coarse through the pain, veins

bringing baskets of life back to me because you saw the

fruit, the seeds they were shields i believe, something

maybe a candle would know, fires and lights and fireflies

jumping brooms in the skies when you kiss the pillows you

leave make-up on for grace. let me be the lead this time

save the rinds of the orange for teas and remedies and one day

the rooftops gonna sing the song of you overhead in the loudspeakers

weep for the beauty enshrined in valleys and corner stores and boomboxes

blaring out the words to melodies hummed slowly silent

brewed in lips begging to be honored, pleading for the real.

she deserves that. Sister.

Joel L. Daniels is a poet, emcee and actor, born and raised in the Bronx. He is the recipient of the Bronx Council of the Arts 2013 BRIO Award for poetry. His work has been featured in the Columbia Journal. He's been featured in popular media outlets such as BBC Radio, RCRD LBL, URB, BRM, AllHipHop, The Source, RESPECT, and HipHopDX, and spoken/performed at the Apollo, Joe's Pub, Rockwood Music Hall, Columbia University, The National Black Theater, NYU, Webster Hall, Pianos, and Brooklyn Bowl. He currently resides in the Bronx with his beard and imaginary American Bulldog puppy, Rufus.