Cover Photo: It Has A Name by Shannon Barber

It Has A Name

And it is mine.

It has a name.

On my tongue the name sounds like fear. It grates my skin like pain, but I know it has a name. And it is my secret. It is mine.

My Mama said, when you know the real name of a thing you can conquer a thing. Conquer. That was her language. She stole the tongues of aggressors and made them her own. She taught me well. She taught me how to be salty and shocking with a tongue so sharp it can cut a man from six paces.

My Daddy taught me sweetness that poisons. He showed me extravagantly colored snakes and frogs and spiders and flowers so beautiful, it's almost blasphemy not to touch or taste. Taste the flower and see if you make it.

My parents made me learn to watch. To observe unseen and reserve my judgment. See the deeds behind the smooth words. Hear the truth behind greasy compliments and trite charms.

They raised me to understand my own mind. To know my own body and celebrate my ownership of both. They gave me room to use my voice at my discretion.

I am what my parents made me.

As a child, I ran wild and free as a gangly foal testing the speed and strength of new limbs. I danced and sang and screamed my pain and joy. They called me doll baby and their little fawn. I was feral, free and loved.

As I got older they taught me the ways in which the world would try to end me. They knew. They showed me the dark heart of a world that wanted me to be its invisible voiceless mule.

They taught me well.

When I came into the world mean and beautiful nobody was ready. Nobody was warned. Now I am here and no one knows what to do.

I am ostentatious feral poisonous beauty. I am glittering steel and the most delicate crystal.

It has a name.

The name is mine. A gift from my parents to me. It is the name of pain and love and sacrifice and blood and hate.

The it is my heart and my shit.

It is, the me that was feral and free.

It is, the secret I keep to protect my true heart from a world that hates me.

  It is mine.

It has a name and it is mine. 

Matriarch of Cunt Lit. https://t.co/seyLD4X7BA