• Marie Tattiana Aqeel

Out from Restlessness and Normalcy

I'm used to change.


I could've been anyone. Could have done anything with my life. Could have been born to two rich parents who stayed together and built wealth in real estate and law. They could've sent me to boarding school in Boston to give me the best education that they could. I could've forgotten I'm Black there, most of the time. I could've been in dance classes since I was 7, piano lessons since 4, played sports since I was 12. I could've known one house for my whole life, and that house could be waiting to be passed down to me when I take up my life as a banker or an attorney, or a scientist! I could have never tasted good potato salad. I would have never really been broke, although in college while finishing my master's degree, I'd have to ask my rich parents for money to buy take-out more than once. I might be able to buy myself a brand new car right now. My credit score might be on fleek, though I'd never put it that way. I might have more than I can use, and still not understand why people steal. I might be pretty and decide, every day that I'm seen in public, to own it. I might have long hair, delicately cared for by that one hair dresser who charges me upwards of 300$ per appointment but has cared for my hair for the past 14 years, so I wouldn't trust anyone else. They may charge extra to prepare me for my heteronormative wedding. I may be considering having children out of duty to my parents and to society. I look like I have it all. Children would complete the picture. Ain't I a woman?


Instead, I'm grateful. I've known government programs, but never real poverty. I've expressed with my whole body through trauma and had conversations saturated in uncomfortable truth. I've stood opposite to taunting, to laughter, to shaming. I've hit a woman. I've never been anyone's property. I've given into loss, and to laziness. I eat good by my own standards. I've worked hard. I've been clueless. I followed other people and hurt myself. I left. Sometimes I look in the mirror and I don't recognize what I see. I've been changed so many goddamned times. Contented to be (this) somebody's wife, I am not who I once was, because I don't know who I am now, if I am anyone at all. I mostly connect to blob energy. Flaccid, wet, receptive, passive. Nothing sticks to me. I could be anything and yet I choose nothing. I'm not a singer, but I sing well. I'm not a fashionista, but I'm in style on the occasion. I'm not an actor, but I tell stories. I'm hopeless, but I believe in being good. I'm grateful and depressive. I have aspirations but I like to be still. Will I not be respectable because I relinquish my appearance as belonging to my self expression? Status. Men would be much easier to be seen with in public, but I choose love. It's only rarely now that I think of being shunned by tradition. I respect tradition. I respect that it carries some seed of truth. And yet, I am driven by a force that would rather push me over tradition and make me face aloneness, grief, secrecy and loss, again. I am not deviant, but I am defiant.


i hate clutter so i'm not

American i'm not American so i was kidnapped. i was kidnapped so i've been

held against my will. i've been

held against my will so i am bound to something

i am bound to something

so clutter is my birthright

i hate my birthright.

The privilege to choose. Comes weighted with disappointment.

American.


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