Self-doubt taps like a cursor. A neon light, it disappears only to reappear with more arms, pulling me away from the work that is my very public body. Sometimes I go where it goes, without seeking the questions. Sometimes waking is a protest. Sometimes I lie down inside the voice like a hammock, my arms folded under my head like a pillow, or surrender. I swing and swing to a safe song. “It must be true,” I say, talking into the outline of a poem or an essay.

Body, I am writing beside doubt and often across from myself. I am incongruous, a deferred lyric. I am not feeling myself; I am struggling to honour my writing—which is my feeling; not in the Sisyphean way that both promises an end and then takes the end when you are so so close. I have not seen the end or thought myself qualified for the beginnings.

 

But I begin because,

 

I know that what I say lives. I know that this Girl is a feeling that repeats her mother. To repeat is to acknowledge fears. To be afraid is to declare what your body cannot go without. Girl is an instinct that honours the repetition and scrubs the doubt by living.

 

(The rest of this essay can be found in  ‘SELVES: An Afro anthology of creative non fiction’.
Published by AfroAnthology.)

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