submitted by Nashe Mutenda today is the first day

the one month we are given a year

the one


where we are allowed

to an extent

to commemorate

sometimes celebrate

our culture.


and though i love celebrating

it feels strange to celebrate

when we are so far from what we can appropriately define as



so today instead of celebrating

and succumbing to your beliefs that we are




today i am going to talk about my body

and through that show you why i still cannot celebrate

jump with joy

and pretend that this is some happy-go-lucky

month long cultural festival.


my body has been generously blessed by the sun.

but it has been cursed by the eyes

that refuse to acknowledge the power in her rays.


cursed so much so, that one year ago today

my body was reduced to an object.




like a doll


but i treated my dolls with respect

i had tea parties with them

and such.


but no one year ago today,

the eyes that cursed me

cursed my body

successfully transformed it into an object

compressed it

expanded it

hurled it


like how i handle my cushions when i am


except there is this minor, perhaps trivial difference


my cushion has no soul.


but i guess the eyes that cursed me

also cursed the soul out of me.

so it worked.

i was an object

and the eyes that cursed me got what it wanted


and for a while i hated the sun

i fucking hated the sun

i fucking hated her power

i fucking hated her blessing

i fucking




i tried to curse it

but how do you curse the powers

that made you.


there are many bodies like mine

who have been generously blessed by the sun

and yet have been viciously cursed by the eyes

who refuse to acknowledge her power.


these bodies have been and are still

tirelessly fighting these curses.


so we thank you

for the one month a year

that we can pretend that there exists

no such thing as a



but we ask that you understand

why we struggle to celebrate.

Featured Image by Boya Sun

This piece was submitted to The Collective–a space for students outside of the Black Praxis staff to share their thoughts, opinions, and perspectives. The views expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect those of Black Praxis and its staff. To submit something of your own, e-mail black.praxis@dartmouth.edu.