notes on blk vulnerability
whoever thought softness was sweet musta been a white girl.
my softness is my crazy; we one & the same. shit look messy, too. i know i was bred to clean up messes but the moment i make one, i swear, everyone looks away in disgust. i know — it’s ugly, too much to even look at. like it never happened.
but the thing is, i am caught in a ritual of making messes & being expected to take care of them & therefore, being a perpetual mess & being expected to keep cleaning, of myself so you don’t see it, but still of everyone & everything. a birthright for the black & femme.
& it’s nothing new. my softness & i been here. i document it on the daily. a testament i’m still breathing & that in itself is a radical act of resistance.
i’ve been told vulnerability is an enviable trait. but y’all love to see a bitch when they down.
blk vulnerability saved the internet but our lives are still at stake.
blk vulnerability is never credited or cited. we created the margins. that shit is all us. we slay even on our worst days.
sorry, it’s not respectable enough.
my softness ain’t cute. you can’t take us out in public. we ghetto. you gotta apologize to everyone who meets its gaze. we embarrassed, too. it reeks of crazy & forgot to moisturize they scalp this morning. it hasn’t brushed its teeth in three days. it’s ashy & loud with its sick.
it’s been hurt, trampled upon & ignored. dismissed. it drank that wine in the fridge & ate Popeyes for breakfast, lunch, & dinner today, despite a negative bank account, & lemme tell you, they fingers still greasy — -soft, right?
this is a politic that inherently intersects with politics of not only desirability, but disposability. how many times have i dared to admit to my hurt, not only to my familial & queer communities, but to other black femmes & women, & be treated with condescension, pity, or just outright ignored? i do not believe in building community without intimacy. i think it irresponsible & i know my blk ass & i aren’t welcome, in a land where everything is light-skinned & nothing hurts.
don’t get it twisted, we see y’all. we don’t forget. we hear you in all your silence. in every time you continue to share spaces with our abusers or our pain in silence. we remember every time you’ve met our tears & our truths with a pitied smile & pat on the head. we are keeping our receipts & oftentimes, using it against our own bodies.
my blk softness sings a rachet ass song. spits on the mic about what it was like when the vulnerable wasn’t seen & therefore desirable. cries a little or a lot. lets you see all of it. belts a powerhouse ballad for the femme of color who offered us friendship just to snatch it back to the familiar warmth that is white softness. it’s cute, right? welcoming, almost.
the minute the softness turns black, like with all things black, people don’t want anything to do with it anymore. i get it. i never wanted it in the first place, either. but it’s all i got. my black & my femme & my crazy. how it reminds me that we have never been safe anywhere while alive & in our bodies.
& when we live out that truth, loudly, visibly hurt & therefore, black, people don’t want anything to do with you. not yr black life. not yr black pain.
not yr black mouth & the ghosts that keep pouring out of it.