by Olivia Johnson.
Fat? Hmm, okay. Single? Hmm, okay. Black? So…. Let me get on into this intro for my addition to the Triumph’s launch edition. Insults have been casted upon my skin ever since I can remember. I’ve always been black, fat (well figured I like to say), and somewhat single. There have been a few encounters into the realm of dating, but each time I was left drained and depleted because of those labels and how my men at the time saw me. Or better yet, how I saw myself. We attract what is within us. So those broken individuals who had no qualms of doing all kinds of fuckery towards did so because they mirrored the broken within myself.
I Will Fly is a piece I still recite when I feel off center. I am a writer, always have been, always will be. It is muse, it is my catharsis, it is my companion through this life. I am also a performer and use my voice to bring light to the many forms of trauma and my surviving and thriving such trauma. This specific piece deals with the toxic fumes of gaslighting, the shame that follows in its midst, and getting the fresh air of freedom.
I Will Fly
Let me say that this recycled pain has become so plain in the speech of life… or that speech you whispered to me that night.
I love you. I whispered it back.
Treble clefts of unified love made me comfortable, but now I’m uncertain we grasped the meaning, the gleaning of such a declaration, those three words hold such might
With insight silent in steps taken, I’m left, so shaken on your discarding of me, my sanity, my spirituality
Women I know, or knew because I no longer hang with that crew, called me a home-wrecker, a drama queen, and that I wasn’t even worthy of your company
Those women masked themselves as truthful friends, but friends don’t degrade, distill the will to live and to achieve greatness, a commonplace of peace
I wish I could place the blame all on them, on you who I no longer see, no longer wish to see, even though the pain in me is deep, its tip just pricking at my heart, most of the blame is on me.
I let too many outside forces, voices, tell me mine, my vocality didn’t matter.
This evil took too many ticks against my psyche, left me empty.
I retreated into a cave of depression, harsh lessons of bewilderment, abandonment, my first dragon tears leapt.
Out of my face, my body braced for the steel transformation, dislocation of earth’s shifting plates forged impenetrable shields onto my skin, the pain became kin, until I wanted it as whim, a fantasy of necessity to see the outside light again.
Until all the thoughts turned realistic taunts that forced me from my solitude, crude enterlude, saw you, and those other cohorts ready to murder every vessel of my body.
I stumbled under their back stabbing attacks, their devil ways, your absence… all of it I swallowed, hollowed my insides to make room for yall’s shit, but I can no longer take it!
The dehumanization of my humanity, my emotionality seen as a school girl crush, stranger’s conclusions broke the last visage of baby fat within me!
I stand here, on this goose-bumped prairie – vision not broken – body not perfect – defects accepted. Healed iron from that emotional rape – full of molten lava that is ready to erupt – disrupt the delicate balance of this tortured landscape. In this place, no thing or one egotistically negative will escape the liquid fire that is about to pour from my unsealed mouth, where my fangs bare – nothing manipulative will fare – spare no asshole beliefs that it was okay to shun, poke fun, or fuck with a dragon woman like me.
I want to see their precious, materialistic desires burn to ash on this shallow soil… but time will fix that, see to that, for it, that ticking clock will spew karma’s wrath like I never could.
I inhale, let the metal settle in my ample breast, rumble its way down into my fertile belly.
I will switch and sprint away from those who treated me so unjustly.
I will spread my heaven given wings, push, push, flap, and fly-high climb into the blue sky.
I will shadow dance with the sun, moon, and stars-never will frown at the drama of clowns.
This majestic beast, me, a once gilded caged queen, now streaking this aired ocean without doubt in her bubbly heart. She is a swiftly shifting sight, with love and respect on each side-that is true might.
I will high climb. I am beautiful without your careless lied wind. I will fly.
And begin again.