When the Body Breaks Its Silence
“Women’s bodies, I was taught, must be a special kind of strong. Women’s bodies must quietly endure.”
Six months after giving birth to my second child, I was gaunt and sallow, shedding pounds and unable to put them back on no matter what I did. Those who knew me well and spent a lot of time with me could see I wasn’t well, but others—people who were just seeing me for the first time after my pregnancy, or those didn’t see me often—felt compelled, as many often do upon seeing a woman who has recently lost weight, to remark on my transformation.
This blood is not me. This pain is not me. I am empty, I am floating, I am free.
The Life of BirdsPlease sleep, I just need a day,maybe two. I’m almost out of the woods.
Good,I just need one more day.
Crime and Punishment
She cried out, but very faintly.
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“I saw that God I’d been so determined to believe in not as an absolute, but as a construct that couldn’t take a joke.”
“My parents had a shared language I didn’t understand, messes I couldn’t always be there to tidy.”
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I hope the voices of people who haven’t necessarily had the words when they needed them can also be heard.
These women showed me how to love and care for myself—the only way a Black woman could.