Jacqueline Reason

BIO
Jacqueline Reason(she/her) is an Afro-Caribbean writer, raised in the Bronx before it became the Boogie Down. Jacqueline is a poet, playwright, Black feminist, and lifelong educator. Her work focuses on stories of survival and resilience. Jacqueline is in pre-production of her original stage play Under the Bridge. She co-curates a monthly storytelling series in Brooklyn, and co-edits The Community Writing Project Journal. Jacqueline loves spending time with family, traveling, and being an influencer and in the lives of her eight grandchildren. Jacqueline Reason’s essay House Parties is the First Prize Winner of the 2021 Writing Black Joy Contest.

Tempo
       -after Camisha L Jones

My body no longer tolerates
the weight of someone else’s opinion
truth quivering to pass from my lips
seeking permission to exist
refusing to shine
so you won’t be eclipsed

What if God placed weight on these thighs
so they could withstand all these storms

Throw up the middle finger
to scars and tales that they carry
celebrating your heritage over mine
to what this voice can say
what language it can speak

Throw up the middle finger
to small men who fear my ambition

My body won’t curve its demands
refuses to melt when it desires to be seen
Kill your tongue and its breath
women your age should not
Please yourself first
seek sheer tops, tight bottoms,
Choose fishnets over lace

what if breasts surrender
to make them easier to touch
by hand, by mouth, by lovers’ embrace
what if this body can move mountains
but like Lizzo and Viola…I need tempo 

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