I hope to someday have a daughter.
I hope to someday have a daughter who can hold her head high and without fear, walk down a street in whichever country she chooses, in a skirt or pants, heels or flats, night or day and feel confident she is safe.
I hope to someday have a daughter who laughs in the face of gender norms and defies the impossible through her actions alone.
I hope to someday have a daughter who is a superhero! Who when the deep blue of humanity snuggles itself around her bones, rises with fire and declares, I AM NOT AFRAID. YOU ARE NO MORE THAN A PART OF ME. I hope to someday have a daughter who is a part of me, just as she is part of everything.
These hopes rise from spaces underneath. Underneath squishy pieces of my being that have not yet borne a new identity, and may not do so for many moons yet – and yet, underneath, there is still this desire, this hope. Underneath any seeing to believe.
Underneath my own insecurities.
Underneath the pain, the heartache, the pussy-grabbery.
Underneath the fear that this world will crush me before I can rise to meet it and the daughter of which I speak will never come to be.
Underneath that lies a treasure trove of hope. Glimmering golden in the dusky light of inner quietude, held together by an ancestry that is more wise than it is tired, and more present than we have chosen to see. There are jewels there, tucked between dusty memories, that when this world becomes too much to bear, I hold up to the light and find that despite what you have tried to do to me, to my unborn daughter, to all the women who graced this earth before me, to the line and lineage stretching to and from my womb like a moving sea; even despite your repeated treachery, the arrows you shot into my sisters so scared were you of such beauty –
Even still, I stand tall.
We stand tall.
Strong in the jewel of solidarity, sisterhood, motherhood, grandmotherhood, goddesshood, priestesshood, elderhood, maidenhood and cronehood, witchhood, which could change this world if only we would let it.
And I am so damn tired of not letting it.
Of forgetting it.
For I get that all bets are off since we let misogyny hit the mainstream, and men of power step up to a mic to blatantly hate and humiliate the female bodied of our planet and still – you want him to speak for me.
No. Let it be said and strong. Lips that have sung those songs of vitriol and hatred will never sing for me.
I hope to someday have a daughter. She may be born into a body she may not, but she is a part of me. She steps outside of the stream onto the banks of her dreams and there lets herself be seen as she bursts at the seams. As unseemly as that seems, from that place of unbridled being, she walks with head held high and renewed strength, to a new world that we do not have to see to believe.
Nasimeh Bahrayniis an Oakland-based poet, artist, yoga teacher, facilitator and space-holder.
Video produced by Awake Storytelling.