I don’t recognize the future version of me the doctor describes. To remain myself, I must prove him wrong.
You miss it, don’t you?It stays in your blood. It never leaves
You cheatedYou haven’t walked away from anything.
How long should I expect this to last
I’d give it another three days. You silly thingI’m not going anywhere.
CongratulationsBe proud of this
You will scare people with these knots
I could do thatI used to do that.
It’s not dangerousit’s just chronic pain.
It will do more harm than goodYou silly thing
Kayla Smith grew up in the swamps of Mississippi but spent most of the past decade living in Rhode Island, New York, Tennessee, and Washington D.C. She is a graduate of Brown University and Columbia University and currently lives in New Orleans where she works at Tulane University. Follow her on Instagram at @kaylamichellesmith.
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These women showed me how to love and care for myself—the only way a Black woman could.