Every morning I rise…
“How did you sleep?” he asks, in his amazing southern accent. He flashes me the crooked smile that never quite touches his beautiful brown eyes.
I look intently into the mirror to see what this quality black man sees in me. Peering at my light brown eyes, I stare into my soul with one gaze, cutting away at my very fibre, the mirror shatters to pieces.
Deep into the abyss… She looks back at me. Curly brown hair that never seems to stay in place, too short for “da” fun styles but too long to try. Coiled coils, not the “good hair – the reason why I stand in front of the mirror daily for 30 mins only to give up and go for the poof. Saggy boobs and a stretch marked pudgy belly, rolls and folds, and thighs that need some lipo. Cellulites, varicose veins, mismatched eyebrows. UGLY!!! Average… a little less than… ALMOST average.
I look at the bed, my beautiful king lies there… looking at me.
LOOKING AT ME
Mornings are my favorite. Waking up to a goddess is the highlight of each day. I rise before her, I stare at my wife and mother of my child. The sun catches and reflects off her chiseled golden skin, is this what it means to have God’s face shine upon us? She opens her eyes and those honeyed pair looks intently at me, full of fire and enthusiasm, the gaze that caught glimpse of my soul and gave me love when I needed it the most. She unmans me.
“How did you sleep?”…
She kisses me briefly and replies “good” and rushes to the bathroom. I sit in bed and watch her. 10 years later and I never get accustom to her poised movements. How adeptly and with care she moves. Her butt has always been my greatest attraction. Seeing her run to the bathroom gives me the best view every morning. Thick thighs that wraps around me and delights my heart. Soft, succulent lips that speak life into me and kisses my lesser impulses away.
She fixes Her crown, the one she inherited from her ancestors. A natural Goddess.
WHAT SHE SEES
I stare into the mirror and I see a phony. Boasting 5 ft 3 of hypocrisy. Why didn’t I get the “soft hair”, the dougla type???
“Goddd I need to lose weight, my clothes don’t fit anymore! I’m such a fat pig!”
I look over to the bed and see him sitting upright looking at me. I feel small. “I don’t deserve the love this man gives to me”
My mornings are overrun with negativity. Self doubt, Pain. Pity, Sorrow, anguish. I do not deserve this life. I should suffer like my mother, like my ancestors. The barrage of self doubt lines my temple, clouding my already shattered view.
As a result, I continue my lie, two twirls I check out my ass and Waltz back into the bedroom.
Big bright smile, I kiss him and walk through the door.
IF THE MIRROR COULD TALK
Every morning you rise…
You stare at me and I see the disgust in your eyes. You feel worn and you’re tired of living a life of lies. I see the pain you endure daily. Walking around as though everything fits perfectly. I wish you could see yourself from my eyes.
Expecting to change the color of your skin, the texture of your hair, the 5 pounds you’ve gained, the cellulites you wish to erase. You feel empty, hollow, like you lack purpose and direction.
I mirror you in all that you do, but If I could, i’d lift your head up. I’d take my left hand and wipe your tears away. I’d take my right hand place it upon your forehead and kiss my eternal love there.
I’d look into the mirror and repeat “YOU are good enough!”
But most importantly, “You are doing great!”
” YOU are Fearfully and wonderfully made, my ethereal queen!”
“YOU are worthy of the blessings you’ve received because to whom much is given, much will be given.”
” YOU are wise enough.
“YOU are selfless!
Even more so, YOU deserve this!
Above all, YOU can do this!
Keep your head up queen, Lest your crown fall off.
If I could, I would! But I can’t… and so, YOU must!
Author: La-Shauna Yatali
Photographer: Ronald Mendoza
Queen: Sasha Romano