my body (2019)

Excerpt: Last night I realized my body is beautiful. This morning I forgot. My body is a summer body every season. everyday my father reminds me that he hates my body. I can feel my body absorbing the sadness. THE COLD IS IN MY BODY. Just ate cheese. Waiting for my body to punish me. It wasn’t worth it. Sometimes I think about my past and my body fills with guilt and shame. Today I sat & looked at my body (naked) and I never do that and for a long time I couldn’t. Trying to connect with my body. Always felt like a separate entity.

This is a collection of written thoughts about my body from 2017-2019.

owning a body (2019)

i.) in the summer, my mother said to me “you’re a young girl, you must wear a bra”
ii.) my father doesn’t allow me or my sister to wear short shorts in the house
iii.) my parents forbid tattoos & piercings
iv.) my parents get upset when I cut my hair
v.) in 10th grade geometry, a boy told me to never wear sandals unless I got a pedicure
vi.) last week, a boy told me he didn’t like my leg hair (no one asked)
vii.) at bars, I fight cishet men for touching my friends
viii.) Cishet men think they own my body. Don’t know how to keep their eyes to themselves. Public spaces aren’t safe.
ix.) my older family members greet me by commenting on my weight gain or loss (no matter the cause)
x.) twitter niggas say Ari Lennox makes hairy pussy music
xi.) I play Ari on the daily
xii.) Instagram banned nipples
xiii.) I never asked for this body but it is mine. It deserves love in all its forms & the freedom to be as it is.

Song: Willow Tree by Helen Hailu
ft. James Baldwin (the one & only)

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