I love your body. I love how it so willingly accepts strength and yet is so “powerfully afraid.” I see all this when I experience you. When I lick, and touch, I feel it. Your being never embraces me for too long, as if you fear my innate softness will sog your evolution. But your distance I don’t fear; finding ecstasy in discovering you: The way you worship your own body and how you’ve developed a habit of escaping it in the same breath. You fear the world in a way I never will. Being with you brings me to the ultimate consciousness of this woe, yet I am so gravely comforted to be in the presence of a man who knows his way through each Canto. We emerge from different hells. My confinement beautifying the deconstruction and appropriation of my blackness, that is too black, and not black enough. Your inferno inflicting punishment through the extermination of black bodies for the sin of involuntary proximity. Still, I crave your body. Your understanding of the world. You respectfully march to the rules of the streets and I erratically challenge every concept of society. I suppose you think of me as impulsive, fair, I see you as complacent- yet you are everything but; wisely taking care of you and your legacy, and I often feeling helpless in my pursuit to save the world. Everything about our natures collide despite the way we uncontrollably contradict one another. At night when we finish worshipping each others bodies, more often than not, you turn your back to me. I stare intently. At first I feel rejection; like my body wasn’t enough as your nourishment, and you rather sleep than be fed. Now I know my intimate reality never allowed me to comprehend anything contrary to this, until you. I began thinking about your truth; reading the words your body spoke. In your world I don’t imagine you turn your back to anyone. I imagine in your world it stays against the wall. That in your universe turning your back could cost you the body I adore so much. Perhaps you trusted me in a way that you hadn’t trusted anyone ever… that I had your back. This terrifies me. I’ve never cared for a man like I care for you. I can’t let you down. The only other man in my life, my father, suffers from a heart condition. His body is always in danger of being depleted. I imagine yours is too, you’re a black man. I’ve only ever cared for him. Now lying next to you I’ve become painfully aware of my inability to save either of you. My childhood dedication to marrying the concepts of fatherhood and codependency still won’t keep him. And never mind my obsessive need to wrap my body around you, allow you inside of me for your protection, and to eradicate anyone who dares threaten your body, the one I worship. What a vicious cycle. But your essence has made me a better woman. The way you thrust implicitly to praise your body gives mine purpose. I honor the nights you let me heal any of your pain and come alive when you offer to alleviate mine. There is so much space between your world and my totality. Between you and I. But there is so much beauty in our intersections. The places where you fit so perfectly. The places I take you that no one else has before. I presume you are fire and I am earth. Your body has always been in danger. My body always used for the pleasure of others. When our two bodies become one, I feel beautiful, and I hope this beauty is somehow enough to ease the peril of losing our bodies as a black man and the black woman. Because if I am to lose my body to any phenomena, it will be to the wonder of you.
This exert is inspired by the concept of the body in Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book: “Between the World and Me.” A must read for understanding black identity in America. I was moved to write a letter on how this concept has reared its’ head throughout my life. I hold my nephew, a black hispanic American boy, a little tighter these days. Him appreciating it. The worship of his body. His black body. My black body. That my decision to lace my back with the accessory of hair somehow became a reason I can’t speak for the black body. My own community attempting to rob me from my black identity because somewhere along the way theirs was too. The black women in my life, molested or raped, raising me in a way to protect my body, and worship its journey. My grandmas black body and its history as she parts with us and somehow now scars mine. You. Your body, my muse. All beautiful. Our bodies are beautiful.
Miss Parisia B.