Something Like Perfection

 Taylor Vinson, Black Bear

I opened a literary journal for class

the first poem I turned to – on discovering Black means something different in America,

driving while black and lessons to teach our new Blacker children


It was perfect


well almost

see, I had been reading Carter G. Woodson’s Mis-education of the Negro,

Assata Shakur’s Autobiography, James Baldwin, and

researching Amiri Baraka and the Black Arts Movement

all of these things were growing to be something like my bread and water

I was just a little Black girl starving all this time

so hungry to discover what this Black skin has really been through

and what this Black skin can really get through in ways

my Catholic school background would not teach me

in ways my PWI could not feed me

and this poem,

this poem fit on my plate almost perfectly, but


A perfect poem would’ve been

a brown sugar love poem

dripping down my pages

or black babies playing

in the green and yellow grass; unbothered

or baby girl crying for breast milk and mama unloosening her bra

or daddy tucking his son in goodnight and

daddy waking him up for school then heading to work and

daddy coming home, daddy always home when his son needs him to be

or boy telling his younger brother he loves him and crying doesn’t make him

any less of a man

or sister saying she likes girls and a family that understands

or maybe an 80th birthday celebration for granny who still loved to dance

to Ella Fitzgerald scatting away to One note Samba

or maybe just silence after a long day of noise nestled under your favorite blanket

or BJ The Chicago Kid playing on the stereo in a jet Black room and

you sing to “Real Love Never Dies”

or coming home from school and sitting at the dinner table with a plate full of that good, good

souuuul food you know macaroni and cheese, fried chicken and greens and ooh that sweet corn bread!

with family and friends, laughter and loving all the way til the end


a more perfect poem would be one that includes all of these good things

something like

oh something like



About Truthfully Taylor (2 Articles)
Communications major and advertising and promotions minor out to tell the stories of the world. I love art and connecting with people! I'm on my journey of finding my truth and learning what it means to live in it. Discover me at

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