How Heaux Tales Taught Me to Shed Shame
Like Jazmine Sullivan’s “The Other Side,” a song from her latest EP, Heaux Tales, I saw a life outside the confines of conservatism—the length of my skirt and the policing of what I was allowed to say and do.
Just come through my door
take off my clothes
and turn on the red light.
Heaux Tales saw
Gotta stop getting fucked up
What did I have in my cup?
I don’t know where I woke up
Okay, I’ma get my own, and I’ma be able to stand on my own
Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Sister OutsiderThe Uses of the Erotic
Seven Deadly Sins of Being a Woman
Khalisa Rae is an award-winning poet and journalist based in Durham, NC. She is the author of the debut collection, Ghost in a Black Girl's Throat (Red Hen Press 2021). Her essays and articles are featured in Autostraddle, LitHub, Bitch Media, NBC-BLK, and others. Her poetry appears in Frontier Poetry, Florida Review, Rust & Moth, PANK, Carousel, HOBART, among others. Currently, she serves as Assistant Editor for Glass Poetry and co-founder of Think in Ink and the Women of Color Speak reading series. Her second collection Unlearning Eden is forthcoming from White Stag Publishing in 2022.
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The secret of the beauty of our bodies is slowly starting to get out, becoming less and less niche each day. And I hope it moves faster.