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Abstract Painting

Bare II: Broad your shoulders.




Give life 

Bare the fruit

Grow the fruit to nurture the village 

Break away the juiciest pieces of yourself and feed you to the other people

Rake away the bitter parts of you that are bruised, moldy, and overripe 

Be a papaya that’s just right 

Be the apple a day 

Be garden 

Be tree 

Be wheat 

Be sprouted

Be 12 grains and seed

Be breadwinner 

Be bread cooker 

But do not eat the bread - 

be a fatless body 


Be water 

Be the oxygen in the water 

Be octopus on dry land -

grow six more arms to fix all the problems 

be sixteen callused hands 

But still, be soft

No matter how confused, be agreeable 

No matter how overlooked, be tolerant 

No matter how jaded

be a rose quartz 

Be a soft pink

even when you’re somber blue 

Be unconditional love 

even when your language is not spoken back to you 

Be silent.




"Just deal with it."

"You can handle it."

Broad your shoulders, but keep your attitude petite 

Do the masculine things, but keep your aura feminine 

Carry the weight 

Carry the wait 

Carry the deadweight 

Do not die of the wait

Be a breath of fresh air 

Be inhaled 

But still, just breathe.

Do not forget to exha-


Be heavenly 

Even when the fires blaze through the pit of your stomach up to the lash of your tongue

be the ash

that chars your throat 

Keep your voice inside 

Keep your words meek 

Live in Hell, but do not raise it

and remember to be


Be bold, but ladylike 

Be sexy, but modest

Be strong, but not too tough 

Be everything, but never a handful

Do not be too much 

Be the dance and be the beat

Be a twerk 

Be a hip sway

Sweat it out

Release the heavy

but be graceful

you must be light on your feet

Be loose curls

Be blonde

Be 4C coils, be natural -

be rooted in your heritage

Be routed to your heritage

Be a hot comb, tame your unruly roots

You must be bone straight

to wear all the hats

Be all the things until you can 

finally exhale 

and just 

be woman. 

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