gRowth

I used to walk around campus
Sharing the thesis of my life story
Like it was a status update.
As if I could truly be summed up
by a sentence of constrictive labels.
Every bio I wrote, Every intro I gave was
“I identify as a black, bisexual, feminist, [Christian] woman in S.T.E.M”
But people didn’t accept me.
Or appreciate me for the woman I was.
They just tried me for my alleged contradictions.
But I questioned myself long before my peers
Spray Painted their question marks on my life.
I mean, how could I not question who I was?
Or who I was meant to be?
When I was raised in a world
Where woman means sexualized--but not sexuality.
A world stamped by conservative standards of modesty and purity.
Where women were taught to demonize their desires
and sacrifice their pleasure for hypothetical men.
Where men were groomed to pry women’s legs open
by any means necessary, sprinkling our bodies with bullshit and misogyny,
Until legs part like a sea in resignation
And we the women were reduced to accessories
Meant to be draped across the bodies of men.
And all that was to say that, I lived in a world
where my mind and my body had no safe space.
At this moment, I am choosing
to identify as an angry black woman.
There will be no commas to splice me into digestible parts.
I am no longer for the world’s consumption.
I am reclaiming My narrative My voice My body, My choice;
I am awakening from the American Dream;
Growing conscious to the nightmarish realities of the Uncle Sam’s systems;
Uncle Sam out here manhandling my humanity
With his hands in my pants, Grabbing my pussy by his politics
As he legislates in a no man’s land.

Leaving me to wonder why Woman’s body
always be a canvas for Man’s plan?
I am fighting to be a survivor that allies can rally behind--but
Learning that trauma fucks with your mental
and cannot be push aside with the Nevermind
I am coping with being the victim of “one” man’s plan.
Still praying, following God’s, and
Hoping to heal with time.

Rahteesha Burgess