Trajectories

You don’t ask people to stop taking care of themselves, you ask them where it hurts. But Warsan Shire has told you often that it hurts everywhere. The words you have reblogged, shared, tweeted, written, thrown, kicked and pulled around are only made through the idea of a single cell surrounded by two pencils, a phone and a missed appointment.

Standing on the corner of a decision and two algorithms is hard enough if you do not have to give out flyers to everyone while you’re at it. Being firmly grounded in reality is hard enough without having to explain yourself to everyone who you meet. It’s easier to have your context understood. It’s easier to navigate through life when people know your history.

It’s easier to navigate through life when you know your history.

Except maybe if your history is one of violent erasure, removal and exploitation. Except maybe if your history is a history of pain. When the whip’s crack still echoes fresh in your muscle memory. When guns have been used to point you in the direction of life. When the image in the mirror is an image that you have seen over and over again.

“five suspected gangsters were shot down”

“my boys exchanged fire”

“these niggers are violent”

“no pets or blacks”

Except maybe if your history is one of violent erasure, removal and exploitation. Except maybe if your history is a history of pain. When they have seen you as an object for years and exploited your body for their sexual urges. When the phallus has been a prerequisite to be human. And you don’t have one. When the image in the mirror is an image that you have seen over and over again.

“another girl was found on the side of the road”

“you’re asking for it.”

“make me a sandwich.”

“you’re over reacting”

Except maybe if your history is a history of violent erasure, removal and exploitation. Except maybe if your history is a history of pain. When they have told you over and over that you don’t exist. That you aren’t possible. That this person you are is a phase, can be cured, is a disease.

“when did you first know?”

“you really have sex though?”

“we don’t get that in Africa.”

“but the bible hates it”

Except maybe if your history is a blend of violent histories, mixing up to create a person who is in pain and the cause of pain. Except maybe if you are yourself.

But you aren’t.

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