thick. black. woman.

it started with my fingers.
they grew tall and straight and all this plump on the underside.
and then it was my hands.
my hands started having woman soft on them.
my arms and shoulders got this arch that reminded me of the times
my mother went to church with lots of stained glass sticking out of her clothes making her look like a
punk fetish dream.
my back developed a slope in a place where my spine was telling me it was only awkward skin coerced
into staying in place.
my hips and my stomach were stretching oh so stunningly over the swollen expanse of my belly.
i was starting to resemble my mother. my grandmother. my great-grandmother. and all the women in
our family who hid so many secrets in them that their bodies threatened to burst at the side sewn seams.
my thighs were rounding. deepning to protect that precious vulva salt flower between my legs.
and i was coming home to my color.

i was becoming woman.
and i was becoming thick black woman.

there have been times when i have been too much breast (sex) too much thigh (vagina) too much waist
(waste) too much life (grief) too much blood (capability).
there have been times when i didn't know whether to say hallelujah or alhamdulillah at all of this.
there have been times when i shrugged and it felt like atlas was trying to off the weight on his back.
there have been times when I was a dragonfly in denial and i was the atmosphere trying to choke itself on
a rose blooming in hydrogen and i was the broken dream from the cocoon of a womb.
i was given permission to be black and gold and olive and every other heavy ancient color of a
squandered spectrum
but i was reminded that my life could fit only in this much large of a size they had decided was decent
ages before i was born.
ages before my people were accepted to be a different size.

i want to be allowed to be permanent.
i want to be allowed to be stagnant for just this once because i am trying to love the two continents that
my ribs are becoming and i don't want this body to change before i have a chance to get to know it like
my parents left too soon.
i want to discover who gave me this body.
i want to learn how to be my only wonder when every other thing and every other day is trying to make
me a plume weight in its life.
i want my body to be the only instrument i know how to play perfectly in a country where people know
too many feet and too less tender fingers.
i want all this hot and heavy to feel home in me through every moment it was asked to unsettle and root in
a place far from my waters.
i want to live in this raw Orisha goddess and undo every man who picks apart my layers
rubs his chin
and tells me you are too dense-stitched here
you are too whale-beribboned there
you are too teeth-bit patterns here
you are too ripe orange orchard there
while i sit with flowers in my hair waiting for him to delve deeper in my warm night flesh folds.

my body is waiting in line.

he used to ask me to hold him
in my palms.
used to say they were big enough for two.
used to say they were large enough to star (make) a night.