every inch of my body has been divided; a claim staked into it, judged, quartered, weighed, and thrown away on one level or another.
When I was growing up, the girls were called meat; the boys would see me and say,
'that's so-and-so's meat'
When I had sex one time, I heard around the block that I had a pretty pussy
actually I heard it from my mother's boyfriend's
my Uncle, so-to-speak,
at least that's what we called him,
I sucked dick for the first time
I think when I was about six or seven
he was a teen,
he said it was me or my brother
so i said me
The details aren't important
but they are
and there are things that have happened
things that i've done
that i may never say
The details aren't important:
because we think this shit is normal. because almost every woman i know got these stories, stories we might pull up occasionally in deep discussion, with the whiff of a scent, the flash of a screen, watching Colored Girls With Rainbows. because nobody seems to give a damn. because it should be a subliminal poetic line. because none of it is supposed to be a big deal. because we are supposed to be ashamed to say it. because we are all supposed to be over it. because the fact is, we'd rather villanize the symptoms than deal with the cause. Because, i'm supposed to act like it wasn't me in that room, I'm suppose to act like it was somebody else, it was one of you, but it wasn't one of me, but also because it was all of us. I'm supposed to be stronger than tears. I'm supposed to be anonymous.
anonymous face, mouth,
anonymous ass, pussy,
anonymous breasts, budding,
and also because the rites of passage in the hood means, subjectively:
killing that little girl inside
strangling her of any hope
of joy, just laughing bitterness
shards of glass as small as sand
stuck always just under the surface of
and you never grieve
because that's just the way things are
that's what happens to little black girls
so they can become women
and nobody gives a damn
because that The Way Things Are Supposed To Be. and why
are you stuck in the past?
but they are:
because the details make the life, weave the reality, shape the world, make a difference, bring you together or leave you stuck mired in shame for never having had any
body show you how this thing
called life, called love, called self-worth works. and black girl lost is a slur, meaning: you can be pitied, pimped, desired but never loved, tolerated but never seen. But the details
mean you exist, mean you are important, mean you are alive, and your story has meaning
that your experience on this earth means something to somebody, somewhere, even if its just yourself,
even if its only yourself,
and the details give you permission to feel because
a bitch got a reason
and feelings don't come from nowhere so they are not irrational even if untimely, unseemly and embarrassing. unravel and trace the roots to the origin, mend. repeat.
HOW DO WE honor our ancestors,
and honor their experiences
WITHOUT honoring the living culmination of experiences
that we are, without honoring our scars, our joy, our pain, our beauty?
More importantly why?
Is it bcause we are scared to say that we
are all carrying so much
because we are afraid to look, to be
a certain way
because then we will be shunned?
I have been shunned for my ugly, my unseemly, my bad girl.
But anyway, it feels like the pop, the pulling apart of all of your joints, and lying there in a pool of your own
weakness, unable to move until you mend
and then when you do, at least a bit,
wearing a scarlet letter of 'fuck y'all' bitterness
so that you are never tender,
I don't have the answer
besides to be yourself
and do you.
be myself and do me.
and maybe we will knit ourselves back together
maybe that is what i will have faith in
or maybe i'll never completely have it all together;