In time, I’ve learned an incredible amount about the human body, particularly my human body, and what it signifies about the lives we live. Having personally experienced and survived rape, abortion, miscarriage, physical abuse, alcohol abuse, malnutrition, depression, and attempted suicide, I’ve learned that my body, my flesh, is the first and foremost defense of my spirit.

The lowest moments of my life had taught me that if my body could push through, even when my spirit seemed too weak to do the same, I could get through, over and around all things. I started thinking, if my body could heal the scars of yesterday’s ignorance then surely, my mind, spirit and heart could reclaim and restore the wounds of stolen tomorrows.

Yet, it was only recently that I began to truly consider the true connection between my body and the rest of my well-being. I hadn’t considered wholeheartedly how the damage done to my external body was so clearly reflective of the damage being done to my internal body, consisting of my mind and soul.

I am now fully aware of the correlation between the condition of my internal landscape as tantamount to the condition of my external landscape. Inspired by an identical titled piece found on Pinterest, written by a New Zealand woman, named Marianne, this poem is meant to pay homage to the wonderful lessons of the body. And so, may my body’s lessons be your lessons as well. A’se!

What My Body Has Taught Me

What my body has taught me

I can survive all things human and known to man

Wars, natural disasters, and even Hell on earth can’t break my spirit

My arms are as great for holding onto things as they are for letting things go

My legs are solid enough to walk away from disappointment, while lean enough to walk into hope

Tongues are easy devices to manipulate for hate and detriment yet, powerful tools for inspiration and love

Bones kind of are made to bend and break

Words are made to build, but can also be used to break

All hearts go to heaven

I’m unusually hard to hold onto

Dark and twisted souls grow from concrete too

Kool- Aid smiles save lives

Africa pumps blood from my heart to my veins

Memories don’t live like people do

The souls of Black folk is my Achilles heel

Heartbreaks are just millions of cells and molecules coming apart

Courage incubates in the DNA of our body science

Bright lights grow from inside the small intestine and permeate through the eyes

Strands of hair, curly, kinky and beautiful tell my story

Lips hold secrets, sorry’s, and salvation, depending on what escapes them

A brain and a mind are two very different things; and yet, all the same in the end

My shoulders can hold worlds on them, bear burdens and share loads all at once

Fingers can write new tomorrows, strangle foreign optimism, and caress the vulnerable tenderness of being

A cacophony of voices can clash together the melody of the human experience

Music actually seeps through my pores, infusing its harmony with my blood

Rhythm and blues makes my ears the anchor of my soul

Laughter builds resistance to fear of the unknown

Kisses are mini miracles of deliverance

Blackness crafts thick, resilient and elastic brown skin

Shine comes from the light bulb buried in your soul

Trust can be born from the cracked remains of stolen choices

How to be still and know

The wisdom that lies in one touch, or the lack thereof

The calming peace of acceptance

The exuberance of grinding, whining, twerking, twisting and shouting

I can build bridges to tomorrow over rivers of teary yesterdays

I am grandstand beautiful

I am simply wonderful

I am built Ford Tough

I am God-given, God driven, and God striven

I am a Black woman

I am a riot!

A loud mouth phenomenon

A downright hot mess

Something like a wholly sophisticated lady thing

A roaring lioness

The king/ queen of the jungle

A jack of all trades

A downtown blacklisted fist in the air

Hair like I don’t care

Fast talking, you don’t even want to go there

Soul swagging type of sistah

I am Shaquana!