You Are Beautiful, Efe

Lakeya (Omogun) Afolalu, Ph.D.
1 min readApr 1, 2021
Illustration: Sacree Frangine

yesterday
my younger
cousin called me

we hadn’t spoken in 7 months

midway
through
our call,
she told me
she wants to
see herself
as beautiful

i understood her
but
i kept silent

because
some things
cannot be explained

some things
must
be
lived

and as we
live through them
we
fully grasp
deep truths
that entangle
themselves
with our DNA

if i were to
tell her anything,
i would have told her
that the beauty
for which she searches
cannot be found in any mirror
no matter how deeply she stares into it

nor can it be found in her accomplishments

those things are
constantly shifting
constantly changing
unreliable

she’s already beautiful
i wish she knew
I wish she knew

mirrors will never tell her this truth

i just hope
she becomes
familiar with herself

or else
she may
find herself
tap dancing on the
center stages of human hearts
some of them — insatiable

she has to know
she must know

as our
conversation continued,
the sun lowered
into the background
and made way
for the evening’s stars

Efe,
I calmly
assured her,
You are beautiful. You really are.
Goodnight.

--

--

Lakeya (Omogun) Afolalu, Ph.D.

Professor of Language, Literacy & Culture | Writer | Speaker | Twitter @LakeyaOmogun