generaтιon oғ woмen – ѕyeda aѕgнarι
𝐹𝑜𝓇 𝑀𝒶𝓇𝓎 𝒪𝓁𝒾𝓋𝑒𝓇 – 𝒦𝒶𝓉𝒾𝑒 𝒱𝑜𝑔𝑒𝓁
I throw my body onto the floor of Brooklyn’s Interference Archive. My friend is next to me. We pull boxes from the shelves and pamphlets from the boxes, sharing special finds as we go. We drown our souls in radical words.
Last semester, I developed a nervous habit of running my hand through my hair when reading and writing texts that spoke my truth in spaces that did not overtly mirror or support that truth. I like to imagine it was and is a way to remind myself that there is a physical barrier between my mind and the white-supremacist, patriarchal, Western agents who attempt to subvert it.
Now, surrounded by this open stacks archival collection, a smile floods my face at the realisation that both my hands grasp the red-covered pamphlet in which I am engrossed. My body is bending to calm. I dislodge myself from the reverie long enough to capture a picture of a few of the words from Quiet Rumors: An Anarcha Feminist Anthology, the text I am holding.
“It seems crucial that we share our visions with one another in order to break down some of the barriers that misunderstanding and splinterings raise between us.”
I flick across the cyberspace to Instagram to share the image on my story. I want others to see what I see. I post and check the stories those I follow posted recently. While I am there, I run into you. In the flood of people’s sharing the words you made that shook them, I run into knowing that you died today.
I join suit and post my own. It is your “Wild Geese.”
As I watch the ‘loading’ icon on my phone’s screen, my mind reflexively warps back to the moment I first interacted with the poem. I was sitting on the grimy carpeted floor of my therapist’s office in the partial hospitalization unit of an eating disorder treatment facility. That day, I had struggled. I felt stuck, unheard, and unseen. I’d fought against so many things oppressing me only to discover that there were countless more. I did not know what to do. I did not think that I could do anything.
Instead of a lecture on why ‘sick enough’ to recover isn’t a thing (if you are in pain, you get to heal), the impossibility of my being completely alone, the necessity of speaking back to the powers that crush, and how listening to the “soft animal of my body” will ease my despair, my therapist handed me her phone. She gave me your poem. In the low light of her office, I read your words.
Then, my mind takes me to the flickering hardwood floor of a room in Brooklyn where I put on a performance art piece last semester. After spreading myself across a tablecloth and asking participants to mark on my flesh the part of their own body which they felt disrupts them, I donned the dress I had worn when admitted to the hospital.
I watched the red paint bleed from my skin to the flower-speckled yellow dress. My body and spirit align afresh in the moments before I shared your poem with those present.
As your words moved from my lips, they came from a place of embodied knowing. I was not reciting your poem, I was your poem. I sent it into the space, illuminated only by six candles and the streetlights outside, and witnessed a string of understanding pull taught between the self I was in the hospital and the self I had since become.
I return to myself and think how I will forever know this day as the one on which you died. Though I feel a deep mourning on the edge of my consciousness and intend to permit its entrance, I am not yet swept away by it.
I give attention first to the compulsion to sing out that you are, in fact, still here. The mental wandering that learning of your death initiated is my first evidence. I know you are in the continual, natural, cosmic energy so earnestly and honestly translated into your prolific body of work. Through the words which you nurtured and extended to your fellow being, the action of learning and unlearning in which I have participated was born. There, you are. You are manifested, too, in the capacity to see these presences. I shift back to the present moment and throw my attention to the words immediately in front of me.
When I finally replace the box to its shelf, I allow the ache of mourning you to seep in and magnify with the recollection of each moments in my growth in which you are present. As I walk to the subway with my friend, it lays over me, entirely.
The sensation settles on my cheeks, kissed by the cold. It balances on my nose, which is pushed through the city air. It dances in my fingertips, thrown into the desire to write to you, to let you know I miss you. It rocks in my chest, delighted by the fantastical knowledge that there is no way you will not hear my human cry.
тнe тopιc oғ dreѕѕ codeѕ – тaмara roѕe ĸyle
Most girls who go to school know about dress codes, I mean how could you not? They drill these strict “what to wear and not” from the beginning of our school experience. Sitting in the cafeteria, early September on the first week of school, the school nurse would tell all the girls not to wear short-shorts, or spaghetti straps, or crop tops, so basically we all get to show up to school with is sweaty t-shirts and ugly jean shorts that go to our knees. But my experience with dress codes doesn’t end there, that’s simply the beginning.
Seventh grade I was told that girls who got dress coded were “sluts” and “wanted attention”, by one of my teachers, of course I got into a heated debate with her, in which the seventh graders this year happily reported that she never said something of that sort this year. Even though I destroyed my teacher on the topic of dress codes, I would never really wear anything that I could get “dress coded” for. I stuck to my jeans and a hoodie look for a solid two years.
This year was different for me though, I was an eighth grader and after all these years at school, I liked my body. In fact, I grew to love wearing bikinis and short-shorts, and I especially loved crop tops. There was something about wearing a crop tops for me, it was like after all these years I got to finally be happy with my outfits and how I looked. So, stepping into school, I would usually always have a crop top on and soon it became my thing. Most people knew be by my crop tops, I had no problem with it, and neither did anyone else. It was sort of something that people were aware of, but it didn’t bother anyone that my shirts were a little then anyone else’s. Occasionally I would get the “pull down your shirt” from the especially old conservative ladies who worked in the building, but otherwise, I was fine. One day the guidance counselor told me to zip up my jacket after seeing a tiny sliver of skin, mind you I’m wearing high waisted jeans and a crop top that covers below my belly button, but nevertheless, I did. The next day she said the same thing, in which I once again zipped up my jacket, and I thought that was the end of it.
It was fifth period, and I was sitting next to my friend, when my phone buzzed, hiding it under the desk I saw that my older sister texted me asking if I was ok, mymind suddenly racing on all the bad things that could’ve happened in the past 5 hours. In a panic I respond asking what was wrong, but the stress was all just because I had a sliver of skin showing. Yup, the guidance counselor called home. Listen, my school isn’t exactly perfect, there are fights every other day in the halls, and kids vaping when there’s a substitute teacher, not to mention the teachers who are too touchy with the girls, but rather than evaluate the insanity of the school, most teachers are more concerned on what I’m wearing . In complete rage I told most of my friends what happened, and it was a big uproar for all of us. We all got together for a full rest of the day, it was as if all previous drama was paused, girls who were fighting that day whispering on how we should all wear crop tops the next day, it was a day where a bunch of 13 and 14 year old girls put aside their petty grudges to fight the system. Not much got done though, quickly being shut down by parents and teachers who deemed us immature, many of us went back to our drama, and the crop top epidemic died out. When I got dress coded, a lot of the boys didn’t see the big deal, but it was little things like that in which only young girls will have to experience. But, these small little things add up, because most girls will have to live their lives thinking that what they are wearing is the problem, these small little things will make them feel as if it’s their fault that someone will stare. They’ll be blamed for being touched, or raped, or harassed, all of this will branch of the little things enforced as a young girl. These little things such as dress codes can have impacts much greater than they’re given credit for.
͏t͏h͏e ͏b͏e͏g͏i͏n͏n͏i͏n͏g ͏o͏f ͏a ͏b͏e͏a͏u͏t͏i͏f͏u͏l ͏f͏r͏i͏e͏n͏d͏s͏h͏i͏p. – ͏c͏l͏a͏r͏i͏s͏s͏a ͏g͏l͏a͏s͏s͏e͏n
𝕝𝕖𝕥𝕥𝕖𝕣𝕤 𝕀’𝕝𝕝 𝕟𝕖𝕧𝕖𝕣 𝕤𝕖𝕟𝕕: 𝕡𝕒𝕣𝕥 𝕠𝕟𝕖 – 𝕒𝕟𝕠𝕟𝕪𝕞𝕠𝕦𝕤
Thank you for being one of my best friends for so long. I’m sorry for the fact that we aren’t friends at all like we used to be, even though I’m not the one who should take any of the blame for that.
You gave me strength in the beginning, happiness in the middle, and a sense of self in the end. There was no doubt in my mind that our friendship could survive anything. Until it didn’t.
I don’t know where it went wrong with you, either. Or at least where it started to go wrong. Of course that I know that everything we had was a ticking time bomb starting on March 31st, 2017. But we don’t talk about that.
You were self centered. But you were my family. Without you, I lost so many of the people who I loved most. My family. You made me feel like you cared. I know I’ve written dozens and dozens of pages about how you’ve affected me, but I could still write a dozen more.
I hope I never forget the time at the carnival when you told ____ I was like your brother, or the time when you weren’t home, so I watched old movies with your mom while I waited for you to come home, or when I came over to study but ended up decorating your Christmas tree with your mom, sister and cousin, or any of the good times. You were my family. And I know I shouldn’t, but I miss you every single day.
- ____ __
P.S. I don’t know why I let you call me ____ __. That name was never for you to use.
𝐚 𝐩𝐡𝐨𝐭𝐨 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐧’𝐬 𝐦𝐚𝐫𝐜𝐡 – 𝐂𝐥𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐬𝐚 𝐆𝐥𝐚𝐬𝐬𝐞𝐧
𝐓𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐬 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐚 𝐆𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐦𝐚 𝐭𝐨 𝐇𝐞𝐫 𝐆𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐝𝐚𝐮𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐞𝐫 – 𝐀𝐦𝐢𝐫𝐚 𝐁𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐨𝐮𝐤
Hi my sweetheart I am just writing to you from the bottom of my heart with love.
I just want to tell you who I am.
I am Ameena’s grandmother. I am very simple and easy to please. I believe in one God, love and peace. I love loving in the United States because it teaches me how to depend on myself. And I am a simple lady, but I am strong. I’ve built up a family and made a decent life for them. I started working when I was sixteen and I worked until I was forty-six. I love people and that’s why my work is always with them.
I went to school even after I had four kids, I bought a house at a young age, had my first baby girl when I was twenty-one. And I was the youngest grandmother at forty-two and went to the beauty school of cosmetology.
I opened a beauty salon at age twenty-five and I bought my house at age twenty-three. I raised four kids with my husband and taught them about tradition. And gave them as much love as I can.
So Ameena I write this to you because in the United States you could have your dreams come true if you work for it – you just have to be strong.
I believe a woman should be strong and stand up for her rights.
When I was in fifth grade I heard a poem and it reminds me of you. Someone wrote a poem for his daughter named Ameena instead of buying her a gift. He sat beside the Nile River and he wrote a poem for his baby.
أمينه يا بنتي الغاليه
ᴄᴏʟᴅ.𝟷 – ᴀʟᴇxᴀɴᴅʀᴀ ᴋᴏsʟᴏsᴋɪ
loɴelιɴeѕѕ. – αιѕнα rαғαт
Loneliness is all I know. Surrounded by people yet it’s all I feel. Laughing all day to come back home to lonely feelings in my guts cutting through me. I’m always looking for reasons and signs. I wanna live and I tried. I end up here all alone over again. I cry at night hoping that someone would hear. No one ever does. They all say I’m always here if you need me. I just want you to notice when I really need you. The problem is I’d never talk and you’d never figure it out alone. My family is all here but deep inside I’m alone. Look at me and tell me not. I wanna hear you say it and scream it to me. I’m not a kid; I don’t need your pity. Your soul is all I want. Your happy face lighting me up when I cry, and that smile that never eases to make me void. But back to the loneliness to my home. Make it through the night I say. Everyday is a new day. Is it really? Do I want it to be? Do I come back to the emptiness I feel? Do I breathe deep through my loneliness? Do I let it take over me. I try and try and but never leaves. The only time it goes, I’m deep asleep. I wake up again to see it sitting on the side of my bed waiting for me.
cнιcα ηεgяα – αηנαℓι αвяαмs
𝔸𝕔𝕣𝕠𝕤𝕤 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕌𝕟𝕚𝕧𝕖𝕣𝕤𝕖 – 𝔸𝕞𝕖𝕖𝕟𝕒 ℚ𝕠𝕓𝕣𝕥𝕒𝕪
I heard my favorite song –
In a small café in New York City.
(Life is always happening.)
It’s a song by the Beatles,
But not one of their famous ones.
One that rarely anyone
Listens to anymore.
Just as the lake water forever laps onto the shore,
And your city moves with tumultuous speed,
And your guns send bullets across deserts,
And you lose pieces of yourself,
Again and again.
Just as the city lights shine so bright,
They suffocate that of the stars,
And you experience heartbreak, for the first time,
And you fall in love with your first book,
And you dance in front of a crowd,
And you discover your place in the universe:
(Or you discover your place falls outside of it).
Just as the desert sands
Carry themselves from dune to dune,
A person in a small café
Will hear her favorite song.
(Life is always happening.)
All of the songs and books we
Are tiny road maps to our
Can you trace mine?
Can you follow the foot-
Steps I leave behind?
I feel like the sky,
All the time.
I am everywhere, and
Everyone wants to make shapes of
The understanding I crave –
Falls outside of this world.
(Life is always happening.)
To the boys who insist on finding constellations within me:
I promise you won’t like what you find –
You’ll put me in boxes that suffocate me
And I just want to breathe.
There’s something so tantalizing
About Caging a Free Bird
About Picking the Wild Flower
About Putting Fireflies in
Empty Mason Jars.
And there’s something so gripping
About Being in the Cage.
(Isn’t that what romance is?)
I wish I could be the song that plays
In a small café,
That reminds an individual
(Life is always happening.)
Your love songs and your romance novels and your rom-coms
Can only understand me as
Someone difficult, and waiting.
And I’m not either –
I fall in love so fast and fall out even faster.
(Isn’t that what romance is?)
Listen to me –
And not because you’re waiting
But because I’m your favorite song
Playing in a small café.
(Life is always happening.)