A Woman’s Walk

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Bound to a body
mortal eyes can undress without a touch,
stripping her of the ability to impress with her mind alone,
suppressing her soul’s shine.

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If she didn’t have a face
—that face—
or a body
—that exact one—
Would their heads turn to gaze in admiration, still?
Would their ears pick up the passion residing in the pronunciation of each vowel?
Or would infatuation cease at the start of a consonant?

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A woman natural in nature, captive to her corpse,
her sensual essence appeals to the senses without intention
satisfying the unquenchable thirst of those with fragile flesh and shallow throats,
she attempts to conceal it all.

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Initiating imaginary bets with herself
that maybe if she wears something too big rather than small,
it will distract from the relentless attraction she endures
— indoors and out.

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She thinks
that maybe if she walks with her head down or to the side,
the twinkle in her eyes
won’t strike, like lightening, the passerbys,
avoiding the comments that shoot as comets
down her spine each time she turns a corner—
[the unwanted flattery lingers as craters in her thoughts.]

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She imagines
that maybe today
she won’t be forced into faking a smile
to camouflage the fear she feels if she chose to do otherwise—
[is it still considered a smile, or a defense mechanism?]

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She ponders
that maybe this time she won’t overhear
through the music blasting in her ears
the barks that bite at her feet
leading her to speed on her walks home—
[careful not to run, child, or you’ll turn this into a chase.]

All of these things, feelings and thoughts
she carries like the change inside of her pockets,
wondering just how many maybes she has left
to cash in.

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Every day passing off peace
for her safety she fastens her heart tight,
holding on to Light in the night,
holding on to the twenty-third Psalms tucked in her palms,
it keeps her calm,
it keeps her sane,
it keeps her,
even when she doesn’t know
which way to go.

Photography by the talented: @darrentalent

Background Music Cover: Erykah Badu, Didn’t Cha Know

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