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The other night I heard a poet  that has resonated with me all day. She writes what I want to say in a way I wouldn’t mind taking credit for. Usually I hear poets and I like their stuff or don’t, but I seldom think to myself that I would have said it just like that. But she did. She reached deep and pulled out her womanness – wrapped it in word paper and metaphor bows and gifted the audience. The card read, “to women” but she was ok with everyone enjoying.


In one of her pieces she talked about the parceling of black womanhood. The lack of archetypes for nappy hair and brown breasts to see themselves reflected in. no Cinderella with a charmer coming to pay his respects, no venus de milo’s blushing cheeks at her naked radiance. Instead, we are the lowest common denominator – broken into our “best” parts. Breasts and ass and thighs. Thrown together and it still doesn’t make a whole real woman.


Later in the slam one of the brother poets dedicated his poem to her, and as he read I cringed. It was called chocolate – all ass and thighs and lips. He dedicated a poem of parts to a woman who had just intimated her desire to be whole in his eyes. And that made me so sad.


And it’s been with me all day. I watched a corny movie I refuse to name and the brown women (they weren’t black but the same seems to apply) were just pieces of flesh for the camera. The angles could be argued artistic, but ultimately I can’t recall faces, only the sway of hips caught up in the music, moist lips parted just enough to sing along.


And I wonder – in my desire to merge my mind and my otherness, my physical features that might unite to be something unique…even beautiful – have I auctioned off my parts without any help at all?

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