Today I Took Some Pictures of Myself

Today I took some pictures of myself
I was wearing grey shorts and a
Matching sleeveless tee
It said “New York Yankees”
A grass-green bandana was on my head,
And small silver hoops were in my ears
And flat, wide nose
They matched my silver rings and silver bracelets
On one of said bracelets, the word “resilience” is engraved.
Two silver chains around my neck complete the look – 
One of a palm tree, one of a symbol for gratitude.
My jewelry tell their own story.

I smiled with my crooked teeth
Sunlight illuminating my melanin. 
My huge and muscular arms contrast
With my large chest, and I’m okay with that.
My feminine curves contrast 
with my defined jaw, and I’m okay with that.
Stretch marks and faded self-harm scars
For all the world to see, and I’m okay with that.
I’m a home run hitter and I’m up to bat.

Afterwards, my sister came in and called me pretty
And that’s true, and I’m handsome and sexy too
I’m a woman, and I like to dress and look like a man
Because that’s what I wanna do.
(And I’m okay with that.)

I never even take pictures of myself
Unless they are planned
Unless others are in the shot with me
Unless it is absolutely necessary
This act was spontaneous and that’s defiance too
Every day I resist and persist
Daring to love and be me
Unapologetically

Everyone taught me 
to hate my queer, fat, masculine black body
I refuse, I refuse, I refuse
Everyday I’m living an existence of radical defiance
My body and my nerve to love it
Upsets my oppressors
The personal is political, and my body certainly is
A landscape of political warfare. 
As my dear mother, the great Lorde, would say.

Today I took some pictures of myself
It is rebellion in its finest
And most fundamental 
It’s self-preservation and affirmation
Which is denied to me throughout this nation.
I’m gonna post them somewhere
For the world to see
Y’all are gonna see and recognize me
I owe no one anything
No comfort, no explanation, no conformity
I have the nerve to love and be me
Unapologetically 

By Diamond Mark