I don't flutter my eyelashes.
Matter of fact I barely have any eyelashes left from all the mascara I've been using just to keep up with your standards but that's beside the point
I don't laugh like a lady,
by that I mean I do not swallow my joy
until it lumps in my throat so I always laugh like I mean it.
I don't act like I don't understand your dirty jokes.
Like I don't really know what الله يكرمك means
Like y'all don't say it 24 times a day
Like y'all even smart enough to go over my head.
I don't whisper on the phone
I do not plan my outfit a day in advance
I do not need help crossing the road and I do not panic in times of crisis.
I don't know what other character impediments I have failed to acquire on my journey to womanhood but hey
What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet
But don't call me a tomboy
Don't call me bro
Do not fist bump me
I am clearly not one of the guys
Do not disregard my feelings because I'm tougher than these other girls.
Do not compare me to the girls you patronise
and phrase it like I still have something to be ashamed of
I am not tougher than these other girls
I am just more proud
I have been raised by a man who does not make too many mistakes
so I have never been taught to complain
I was not taught to ask for what I deserve because it was never at question
I do not throw tantrums
Or pretend to hurt more than I actually do
Pain is not a sound
You can't make a mouth do what eyes were created for
So I will never associate my voice with your shortcomings
I will not weaken to help you grow
I will not ask you to treat me like the weight of the heavens rests on the back of my tears
And every time you make me cry the earth and seven skies fall out of equilibrium
Like I can hold the galaxies in the brown of my skin and hide the deep of night between the gaps of my ribcage
I will not teach you what your mother should have.
I have been raised like the Ancient Greek
named the four elements after the tips of my fingers
I have been raised to make the earth orbit the gravity of my language
To be the winds that pierce holes into clouds, just to make way for light
To be the fire that does not burn under the mercy of God
To be water that breaks itself in half just to save the men she can not leave behind
You are surrounded by so many girls
And I have been raised to be a woman