Current Events Politics Reflections

My Body is Uncivil

My body is uncooperative. It moves to a beat that at times I cannot hear. Next to the images of thin, pale models, I am an affront to their image. My dark skin insults those with a fancy for a-historical revisionism and half-truths. My uterus is in the hands of men who will never have one. My scars and crutches are conveniently inspiring for those who couldn’t be bothered vote to ensure my access to healthcare. My body is political because of, what people choose to call “differences” to avoid saying “disabled;” and clothed in black skin that the privileged decide when they want to see and use it. My body has no choice.

My body is uncivil.

But, behold, my body is a riot, too.

My body moves with a cacophony of sounds I won’t apologize for. In fact, I hope the sound berates the sense of privilege and arrogance with which you suggest the value of a life is a war of words punctuated by “Mr.” and “Mrs.” My body had no choice but to be seen as obscene in a society that never intended to include it. I shout and shock because people would rather ignore what I have to say. I sleep in intervals of horrifying story, after horrifying story. My body is a protest because it needs to be.

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Img Description: Crutch-using Black woman in flower top stands in front of bushes. Picture by Lauren Green

My body is a riot.

My body is offensive. It may walk with crutches, but it always enters a room like it belongs. It requires accommodation from those that don’t believe I should have access and forces them to rise to the occasion despite their indifference. I am made of rolls and soft places; I like bread and ice cream and will eat them as you stare. Is the dark skin that covers this body a threat or a reminder of sins buried deep. Would you call the cops on this skin to wipe your sins away? Or will a Hail Mary suffice?

My body is a riot.

My tongue refuses to curl around words of respect and kindness for those who demonstrate hatred for black and brown bodies. I refuse to smile like access to healthcare is just a policy rather than a predictor of which friends I may have to bury. I refuse to shake hands of someone who squirms with the idea of having to touch me because of the skin that adorns it. I refuse to laugh politely at your political jokes as I hear the screams of caged children calling for their parents in my sleep.

My body is uncivil.

It was not made to appease you or celebrate your indifference.

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7 comments

  1. You write in a way I dream I could. You say the things I have struggled to say all my life. I wish I had your words and courage. I hope one day I will. Until then, THANK YOU.

    Liked by 1 person

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