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He was gentle in a very straightforward way, pulling out chairs for me at restaurants and picking me up after work to take me to exhibition openings, where he would look at me instead of looking at the art.He supported my work and called me Butterfly; our relationship was nauseatingly blissful. I posted photos of black love on every social media account and considered myself as part of a larger revolution.He rode skateboards and carried around napkins in his front pocket, a habit he’d learned from his grandpa.
After nine months, my black savior, the neuroscientist, had broken up with me and left me with no words to cry over.
Our portrait was perfectly hung and constantly dusted for shine.
But whenever he would call, I would let my phone ring until the screen went black. ” “Soon,“ I would say, as though there was more urgency in believing it to be true.
We stood on the head of our warnings every day as we got to know each other. I knew I was a far away from the Latina girls he was used to with silk hair, milk-toffee skin, and sharp tongues: I had forgotten how vulnerable it felt to be black in the apartment building lobby of a potential love. Before every date I would always buy myself a new outfit or piece of clothing to impress him, as though being constantly new would distract from any shortcomings.
I would stretch my hair every inch that I could, to make it appear longer. There were days when we fought and said things to each other like “That must have been from how you were raised.” We got assaulted on the street by men who would yell “Black and white don’t mix” and smash their shoulders into ours.I had hushed conversations in the corners of cafés about how important it was to keep feeding the black community with positive affirmations and how it began with loving black men.