THE PARADIGM OF MEDICINE By Hafsa Musa

THE PARADIGM OF MEDICINE

the paradigm of medicine is the authority over bodies
the corpse a Euro-map towards gutter knowing

no matter what these doctors say,
they don’t know me.

this body defies the gutter;
this body exhumes smoke and purifies
it lies face up at the corner of Eve and 6th
looking out past space grass and stormy skies
dead to the world but not its wonders
trespassing the unknown
like white men’s metal fingertips on my birth certificate
this body is borne to blackness.

loving the ice-skin wet and slick
primed for primal beauty
sweeping beneath my fingertips
like thistles under a winter moon

they tell me i’m moony,
i’m loony,
a heretic prone to hereditary hysteria.
but i am not a woman.

the paradigm of medicine is one school of thought
whose classes i’m delighted to skip

doctor, please, keep your white mask on,
i don’t want to hear your lying mouth
speak things about me and the illness
running virally through my veins
you tell me i am sick. and i am.

sick of the bullshit of the diseased mentality
invoked violently
on this body — this corpse — this flesh
and blood and bone
this person you forget when you call me
woman
when you assign me to a
binary
i did not ask for

there are more than two doors in this life
i am shutting yours.

doctor,
keep your gloves on.
disinfect the knives
and prep the nurse
you’ll have to cut me open
to divest this boi of their agency.

even if you see me as nothing but a mischievous hunk of meat,
i am not a cut of venison, dear.

watch me, i’ll run these horned words
through that pretty white coat of yours.

i am not a woman, doctor.
close your mouth, shut your hands,
listen to this dumb black boi spit
a hard and fragrant truth:

quit labelling me as some
other
mother’s
stranger fruit.

By Hafsa Musa

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