I was born in resistance, the heir of a poor teenaged mother forced to choose between white and black worlds, family and desolation.
I inherited the ruthless nature of survival.
I resist with my existence each day, with every encounter, relentless hunts.
Whenever a man talks over me and I raise my voice to be heard, when I breathe air that is mine, speak a truth that cannot be denied, I resist. Resist your idea of me and what space I should occupy, what identity I’m supposed to bleed.
I step into the light with red manicured toes, I resist..
I hear you say, “Aww, She’s nasty. You better wrap it up,” and I catch you in my eye, watch the hateful words spill onto the floor and look as another picks them up and puts them in his mouth. With my expression, a sly smile, a squinted gaze, I tell you both that I know you’re afraid of me. I stand unmoved while your words disappear, and then you disappear after them.
I resist each time I get up in the morning, brush my teeth, brew a cup of tea, hum a made up tune, when I look in the mirror for a long long time. I resist when I rub lotion on my legs, bite into a peach and let the juice drip down my neck, sweet and sticky, when I play the type of music that makes my hips sway, when I sing loudly and off key.
I dance in the sunshine with my arms outstretched above my head just to oppose you and your inhibitions.
I fight back when I don’t wear a bra and hypnotize you with the soft curve of my nipples.
I break your shackles when I don’t need your validation, your money, your permission, your YOU. Telling me to smile. Telling me to gain, to lose, weight, or that man that you covet with visions of me stirring him to full length.
I resisted long ago when I stopped wearing make up, high heels and the latest trends in human accessories.
When I tell you that I don’t want children, don’t want the crying, the life-long commitment, the sole responsibility, the trappings of being attached to someone who is destined to fail fatherhood and himself, you call me “selfish” but I hear “smart.” I see your now tired body, the dearth of time, spontaneity, sex and I'm hungry for you.
I resist by not doing a damn thing all day long. I sleep in nothing but my resistance, eat chips in bed and don’t care if my hair is a mess.
I love men that do not belong to me and that I don’t really want, listen to their regrets, take in their apologies, kiss their lips so they’ll taste me long after I leave.
I resist by growing and by loving ME a little more than I love you. By denying you space in my space. By saying no to your packaged opinions and your indoctrinated conformity.
I stand faraway on the horizon, watch a perverted sun go down on a sandy path between Saturn and Mars. I stand. Wait. Wait for you to resist your need to control, to look at, to conquer, to misunderstand, to use, to talk at, to fuck…me.
I exist to resist a world not yet worthy of me.
Andrea Roach is a writer of memoir, essays, and creative non-fiction. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University.