Spoken word piece by Cynthia Jones
PMDD is a thing with limbs
that wakes worried and walks woeful
rolls in after half a months absence
then melts me millimeter by millimeter to my mattress to make sure I know
just how flat I am.
It tried to get me to stay home today
to put my mouth on mute today
It tells me this poem is bullshit, anyway.
then makes mealof me:
dissolving my dignity
grinding my greatness into gristle
and expecting gratitude in return.
I know who I am
but on the ones that I don’t
I really really don’t.
and I guess that’s just part of it.
Part of having a heart so hearty
so huge, so human
it feels five times bigger than it means to
and it can be mean, too
I can be mean too but I don’t mean to
it’s usually just my torment talking
out its ass again
it’s usually just me, cramped
into the corners of my crisising cranium
forgetting my own value again,
forgetting my own name again.
There are fifteen days of every month that I am not myself
I am still myself but a part of me I prefer not to present,
I am learning to stop separating my sharp spots from the sum of me
but to color match them instead,
to meet them where they are
(they may not pay rent but they still live here).
I still am here.
this has been a life’s work.
this has been my work.
this has been what womanhood means to me.
this is learning to love myself at nearly three decades young.
this is you watching me
as I crush my crooked into crisp
into christmas morning.
this is me wishing you would tell me
I am not too much
while I am telling you endless
reasons why I am way too much-
I am a train who does not know her own trajectory
feels like she needs you to cut her off to keep her on track sometimes
can’t recognize the weight of her worth sometimes.
so I sit here trying to trace my tremors
to traverse my trite
and my tragic.
I do not call it beautiful.
I do not wish you to call it beautiful.
let us not romanticize this
but let us not run from it,
About the Warrior
I’m an urban educator and spoken word artist in Philadelphia. My struggle with PMDD has been a 13-year long journey so far full of incorrect diagnoses, grief, and thankfully a lot of therapy and self-love. Every day is a struggle and some days are harder than other days but I think it’s important to survive despite.