Day 7 – my hair feels like
:: A black woman’s body was never hers alone::
Fannie Lou Hamer
Is your hair real? she asks. I sit next to her on the stationary bikes.
I’ve seen them doing that kind of thing along the beach in Jamaica.
I say nothing.
Not to people like you but tourists. You know they pay for it.
I stare forward peddle faster.
Obviously, she’s an older woman who likes to talk. Maybe
the gym is a social occasion for her. I try not to judge.
Did it take a while for you to get it done?
I want to tell her that this is my hair. All my own hair.
Do you wash it?
Really, lady? You’re asking me if I wash my hair?
I want to ask her would she ask
the same questions to a white woman?
I focus on my reflection, and then catch her moving in.
Oh can I touch it?
No! You can’t. I find my voice.
She looks outraged and confused. But why?
I want to say
because I’m not an animal in a zoo
because I’m not your property
because this is my body.
But I say nothing. I move away and if anyone’s
watching it looks like I’m being rude.
#dreadscapes #blackwomensbodies #canitouchit #selflove