The Flat Tire

Sometimes a black bodied woman is just a woman
no menace no slut no thug no whore no bitch but
a poet who wrestles with a world that seeks to define her
using the words she so values and where does that
leave her but alone and ashamed too embarrassed to
admit that words have power like a double-edged sword
and you’re damn near killing her with your words

This morning I had the clever idea that I would dress
in a way to fight off all of your offensive words I
looked in the mirror and plastered on my fake smile
with my makeup practiced responding to unwanted
attention with soft and feminine responses so I wouldn’t
be called a bitch for simply resting my face while I
revel in my own thoughts then I had to figure out what to
wear and I couldn’t decide between my university sweatshirt
or the work hoodie with the name of the school where I work
and a skirt the long one that doesn’t show my knees or the
dress I wear to church or my camo jeans with the loop
for my hunting knife the one I bought for protection
against men who cannot be satiated with a fake smile and
nod hello or my backpack the one that’s heavy with books
I’ve already read or a tank top wanting to dress for the
weather but I looked at my arms and tried to figure if they
were too muscular or too flabby dressing for this world
is tiring so I figured the best thing to do: wear it all

But then my car got a flat and I was stuck by the side of the
road and I realized I forgot to put on the voice that makes me sound
white when I’m talking on the phone and getting down on my
knees to change my own tire makes me look like even less of a
woman than you imagine me being and tomorrow my arms will
be sore because those nuts are tightened  so that only a man
can undo them because any woman who knows how to carry
herself and how to submit to a man can find her a man and if
you don’t have one well it’s your own fault and sometimes
you just have to understand that a man will be a man and don’t
call him out when he treats you bad because then you’ll make
him look bad not feel bad and there’s a difference but
none of that explains why you left me by the side of the road
with a flat tire and a broken stud with the nut still locked on or
why you didn’t realize that sometimes a black woman is just
a woman and sometimes a woman is just walking down to the
end of the block to get the name of the street so she knows
the exact intersection of the place where she finally lost and
found herself and where she realized that no amount of clothes
can get you to see she’s not who you want her to be

Peace & Love,

Happy second day of poetry month loves! And good news: two of my poems are in the spring edition of African Voices magazine. Here’s a link to the magazine here.  Check it out. The spring issue is full of dynamic poetry and stories and art.

Happy reading!


About Rosalind Guy

I'm broken & my soul is weary/ my weary soul rebels, fights/ anything & anyone who tries to heal me/I beat my head against a wall of memories/ trying hard to break free from the chain of memories/ I can only be free by saying it so/ i weave a necklace from words and finally/ I find freedom/ free free free. As you can see, words are powerful to me. As Maya Angelou said, words are wallpaper of the soul. I have lots of nightmarish memories that threaten to break me, but I learned a long time ago about the power of words. They can be used to heal and destroy anything that threatens to destroy the person. Words coupled with love have the power to save and heal. I am author of three books: Skinny Dipping in the Pool of Womanhood, Tattered Butterfly Wings, and Blues of a Love Junkie. I am a high school English teacher. I am a former reporter. I am a mother. I am a woman. I am a fierce advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves, those who's voices go unheard. Check out my Amazon author page at the following link:
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