Flip the Switch

Jayvian Green, Stephen F. Austin State University


There was a little black girl
with pale white—light bulb—
skin, dark brown plaited hair
which curled up at the edges.

There was another little black girl
with dark brown—rich, chocolate cake—
skin, who said to the light bulb girl
I don’t like you. You’re white.

Light bulb looked down at her
absence of color and said to the little
girl, no, I’m black. My mama is…
If that’s your mama, how come you white

she black? With a shrug of her tiny shoulders
light bulb walked away
but chocolate cake pushed her from behind
—not leaving any of her color to crumb
light bulb’s skin.
Like the filament inside her, these words stayed:
I don’t
like you
you have
white people

Jayvian Green is a fourth-year B.F.A Creative Writing undergraduate at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. She is a native of Houston, Texas. She had one of her works published in SFA subplots chapbook which was used to raise money for local high students’ books, and she placed first in the undergraduate portion of the Piney Dark Horror Contest.