Dear Woman

Your body is the start and end of most things in your life.

But over time, your body has become a subject of conversation

It has become a topic of arguments and wars.

You wake up everyday in this vessel that carries you

And you carry it

To face this world that carries your body

And your body, that bares the weight of this world

Is the center of the politics and people that tell you

If your skin is too dark for you to be deemed

Beautiful, or competent or, worthy,

If the curls on your head are too tight and

If your hair is too “intense” or “bold” for the “normal” people

And deny it to be fit for the crown you deserve,

Condemn your wrists for handcuffs and

Your body for prison cells,

And decide

If your image is a product that can be tweaked and appropriated and sold

For those who can do so simply because they can.

You wake up to face the people who dictate

Whether you,

A woman,

Can make your own choices for your body,

And question the strength of your soul and body because

They are unaware of how many stories are written and carried on your back.

You wake to face the system,

The system that fails to educate those who violate your body

Because these violators are “great student athletes”

And your violation was simply “20 minutes of action”,

The very system that then fails to punish those who invade your temple

Because what the violation “technically” was, or was not.

The system that preaches that, your complacency and fragility

Is what defines you as a woman.

The system that justifies your gender expression or who you choose to love

 To be grounds for suspicion

Of you being… A threat.

But when are you not a threat?

You’re a threat when you’re educated and aware,

A threat when you’re appreciated or praised,

A threat when you’re trying to change the system that keeps you drowning,

A threat when you’re even just at your home, which is why you’re killed countless times

With “no knock raids”  and searches…

As if they were going to knock and tell you that your fate was going to be another unjust death

That will be overlooked like the thousands before you.

So you wake up

And remind yourself that if you fight for whatever cause,

Your

Body

Is

On

The

Line.

So as soon as you wake up,

You are reminded of the woman you are.

not

A woman,

A woman who is beyond the reach of any combination of words to be painted,

A woman whose beauty could not be limited to numbers and measurements

A woman whose story carries a thousand more, of all she has touched

A woman with courage, resilience, strength and fire in her soul

A woman full of color and life for the world to witness

A woman whose love could heal age old scars

A woman of wisdom and advice

A woman of leadership

A woman of balance

A woman.

But

A woman

Who has had to

Shirk herself beyond belief;

Because her body was her weakness.

Her body no longer felt like hers because it was not.

Her body was everyone’s and she no longer had claim to it.

A woman whose temple was legislated, policed, brutalized, beaten,

Objectified, simplified,

Labeled, sold, re-sold, painted, smoothed, defined,

Appropriated, criminalized, judged, observed

Thrown and never caught.

This is the woman you are….

Or believed to be.

But as Coates said it,

“This is your country, this is your world, this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it.”

Better yet, you must find a way to live above it.

Forget the standards and expectations and fight.

Fight for the words that were taken from you,

Fight for the love from which you were forbidden, fight for the rights that were torn away

For the life that was taken from you, for the family that was robbed of you, and

For the power to your own body.

Fight with the knowledge that even if you don’t see your promise land,

Those who do, will do so because of you.

So wake up and face this world,

And let it face you.

1 thought on “Dear Woman

  1. Edomski, you never fail to awe me with the beautiful pieces of art you create. I love this and you and this–it perfectly explains why feminism has been, and continues to be, so relevant to our lives now. It isn’t just a fight for better jobs or for reproductive rights (all kind of obvious), but for respect really. For the right to wear what we want, to look how we want, and basically, to be in control of our own bodies. And no matter what we do, we are constantly criticized, even when we are educated and praised by others. Although we are often compared to a male standard, it seems like we can never reach it.

    Thanks for the beautiful words nugget<3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.