Not Yours

(Performed at Bangkok Rising’s event ’PAUSE:Permission Granted?' in Bangkok on 25-Nov-2014)
Eyes darting, searching for a sign, a look, a signal
Prepared, tense, cautious, defensive
What will it be this time? The judgment never stops
The eyes are judge and jury
Mouth, voice – the gavel. Final, no appeal. Justice. Truth??
Let me take you on a journey from top to toe;
Not the long flowing tendrils of Rapunzel or the much envied celebrity cuts of the day, week or month
My hair, in all its forms. Real …or NOT
Ever-changing from Course to Straight, Afro, Braids, Corn rows Twists... and OUT
Verbs; Blown, braided, stretched, weaved, relaxed, cut, now natural
My hair
Living in a world that tells it to straighten, flow, swish and swirl.
My hair
Not yours to touch, to pat, to stroke
To say, To ask
The questions. Never ending questions. Why change?
Privilege, diversity, flexibility.
Not the infamously perfect symmetry of Halle Berry or the small nose, big eyes Korean fantasy of these parts
My face
Living in a world that tells it to lighten, whiten, bleach, cheek, bone, narrow
Wide nose to smell, embellished with ring
Short and flat bridge. The SHAME.
My nose.
Not yours to suggest, tip or quip. Verbs: blown, sniffed, sneezed, blocked. Mine
My lips.
Thick lips, juicy engulfing, eager to suck...And be sucked
Not duck. Don’t speak. Stop hate.

Thick lips.
Not yours to say you dream of encircling you
Living in a world that tells them thick is in…but too thick is excess.
My lips
Not yours to tell to smile.
Lips. My lips. They can speak. They choose. They can say NO. LISTEN!

Not Dolly or Pam’s Enhanced Everests, or Keira’s Subtle Slopes
Verbs; bounced, shimmied ,squeezed, supported, and once stuffed with toilet paper
You say sporty. Ok.
Living in an indecisive world where big is too big and small is too small. No choice.
My breasts.
Not yours to stare at for so long that I catch you. And yes – I always catch you.
Not yours to brush up against — A mistake it is not.
The apology? Not accepted.
Silence. Shame. Cannot talk. Cannot say.
Verbs; Plank, Crunch, Climb, Twist
I will. Tomorrow.
My Stomach
Living in a world of 4 packs 6 packs, ab challenges and celebrity top 10 bodies of the year.
My stomach.
Not yours to advise, hint, measure, gauge
Believe me. I know. It’s Mine. Not yours.
My vagina
Private. Mine.
ONLY with Permission.
Touch, Feel, Enter, Dream, Speak…no — don’t even THINK about it —
ONLY with Permission.
Living in a world of no boundaries.
Where NO can tragically be ignored.
My vagina.
My Ass.
Not the noble beast that chauffered Mary into Bethlehem
Not the champagne soaked Kardashian rotunda forced into aspirations to break the internet.
The curves starting high and voyaging around the globe past the equator and molding into thigh in Southern Africa where it was made.
Has endured the best and worst Verbs; Toileted, beaten, covered, squashed, spanked, shook, probed
Not yours to pat, whistle at, ooh and aaah
Not yours to touch, to grab, to smack, to pinch
Not yours.
Even though, Sir Mix-a-lot, Nikki, Meghan, Kim, Queen, Bubba Sparxx have all cashed in on one.
It’s Mine.
My glorious hind.
Living in a world that tells it to hide, that its too big, too curved, too jiggly.
My ass.
Cheeks knowing more than of lap and finger and palm.
Knowing insult.
Not yours to keep in your drawer of scandals and porn.
Knowing unwanted desire.
Legs and feet.
Short in the West, Long is the East, Average in the South.
Living in the world that tells them to be perfect.
Painful shoes to elongate.
Painful razor to remove.
Not yours to comment, graze, fetish
Judge and Jury have spoken.
I am imperfect and incomplete
Wanted by the unwanted
Desired by the unrelenting
They dictate.
I relate.
I TRY to own.
After all.
This body is MINE.

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