19 Dec Maya Kendra
RETURNING TO MYSELF
I fell in Love with my own disgusting habits. Eating straight butter while drinking red wine. Begging a man to fuck me and then asking him to go home. Sitting in front of my laptop looking at Dior lip gloss on Sephora, thumbing the ridges of my credit card – bored. Is when I can tell myself confidently, none of this exists. When I sit in my bed at night I just am waiting for the walls to melt away. For this interpretation of reality to give way to Truth. Why else would my bones hurt? Why else does my blood ache? On Monday morning I try to explain this type of generational trauma to my boss. He is unflinching. He doesn’t understand that everything that has happened to every woman has happened to me too. That I am sensitive because of this, to masculine energy, to white energy. That I am uncomfortable with aggressive displays of power. So when a white woman mean mugs me, I think to myself this is a political act. When a white man winks at me – then I am on a plantation, the back of a bus. I am a prop for forgiveness. I am playacting history. I am kneeling on the floor of Ulta praying that the highlighter I like is back in stock. I am taking mirror selfies in Forever 21 – I am in one of the many circles of hell. Struggling to cater this vehicle of my body to an ever changing audience. Do they like my lips this week or do they hate them? I can’t remember. My skin is darker than most. My hair kinkier. I am aware before they tell me. I don’t enjoy this type of hyperembodiement, the feeling of being reduced – so I fetishize myself first, a safety mechanism. I must distance myself from my Self. SHE is precious, is only a child. A flower blooming, slowly then all at once. I don’t let her get stepped on. (Not again.) I take out my beauty blender instead. I put on a thong. In the summer when I don’t use setting spray I am suggesting openness. I am laughing. My foundation cracks, sweats. Whatever. Eventually all facades must fall apart. The heart must go soft. My body begins to relax against anothers. It feels good to exhale, to breathe. Some men have hurt me, this is true – but the healing is in my dreams, in my spit. I was born with it probably – the inherit knowledge to cope. I am hopeful that from my destruction I may be rebuilt. Reframed, restructured. The creation of safe space is important, so is the redefinition of love. When I see fit, I give my boy a brick to lay here. I come home to this new experience. Growth is painful but I allow it. Spirit returns to body. The walls come down. The front door unlocks.
Maya Kendra [b.1996] is a writer living in Florida.