Long thoughts on life in the sky between Phoenix and Oakland

Must I art?

What if I decide to unart?

Live the life

Of a model minority

Not fucking up shit

Not breaking one’s toxic masculinity

Not writing

Not crying

Just surviving

Taking nice pictures

And looking clean

Brushing my hair

Pores are flawless

Dark circles are caked and concealed

Not being moody

Living that so called “Instagram life”

20 pounds ago

Little brown girls would tell me

I could quit my job and be a “model”

I tell them “thanks, I don’t want to do that”

They would look at me confused

20 pounds later I see my grandma

The first thing she says is “wow! You gained weight”

I then show her a poem I wrote about her hanging in a museum

She reads it and laughs

That’s the end of that story

No bitterness

I like being pudgy

It’s kind of nice to be left alone on public transportation

And I don’t feel like I have to live up to the stares from men

My partner tells me he likes me just as I am

I smile and try to believe it

I smile and try to tell myself the same

I debate if I should start exercising

I think if I was skinnier would he love me more?

I know it’s true for the men in my family

Proper weight equals proper love

Shallow cycles swirl around me

But I believe my partner because I feel it

And I feel good

In my newer older body

With its slowed down metabolism

My validation doesn’t need anyone’s attention

My livelihood lives on my words

Not my growing double chin

Or dresses in my closet that don’t fit anymore

Getting older is weird

Having an older body is weird

Shit is gonna Start shutting down soon

My memory is already becoming shit

It’s kind of scary

Scarier than blacking out

Another odd part about getting old

Is going sober

It’s been two and half years that I have not woke up hungover

Cheers to that

Going sober is weird

Telling people you don’t drink is weird

Telling natives that you’re sober is almost like a myth

Finding a male partner that is educated , doesn’t drink and doesn’t cheat on their girl is like finding Sasquatch then dating him

It’s that rough out there for us native women

Because most of us are guilty for falling in love with a bottle that likes to lie and cheat their way through life

Most of us stay  in situations where we pay the bills and become mothers to boys that don’t know how to tie their own damn shoes

Most of us have to lie to ourselves everyday that love is supposed to hurt

Love is supposed to feel broken

If our mother and grandmothers could do it so can we

We tell ourselves

Our broken pieces always been temporary held together by broken promises

“I won’t do it again”

“It’s the last time I promise”

I smashed those excuses a long time ago

But worth still comes knocking

What is a complicated native woman to a native man’s fantasy of normalcy?

Yes it’s too much to ask

But what do I want?

I get to choose

This is the privilege of my generation

This is the privilege of breaking a cycle

This is the gift I give to myself

This is a foundation

My kids will have to

Not live with an angry land

And a broken man

My grandma thinks all men are trash

Every man around her drinks

So I could see her view

Her husband was stabbed in a lonely alley in phoenix 31 years ago

Something we never talk about

and don’t let go

My mom thinks half of men are trash

Her husband doesn’t drink but her son

Comes home with x’s in his eyes everyday

I fear the same for my future

A husband that doesn’t drink

But a son that will stay with us well into his 40’s with a bald head to match his bald liver

If I fear my future how can I keep going?

That’s just what being a native woman is I guess

Published by asdzaabeat

Amber McCrary is a Diné zinester, feminist and writer. She was born in Tuba City, Arizona (Diné Bikeyah) and raised in the Reservation bordertown of Flagstaff, Arizona. In the small town of Flagstaff is where she discovered her love for Punk Rock and the Do it Yourself Culture. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in American Indian Studies from Arizona State University. She is currently an MFA candidate in the Creative Writing Program at Mils College. She enjoys many things in life such as tea, traveling, writing, reading, sulking, gardening, eating, smashing the patriarchy and learning about cultures and her own (Navajo/Diné). She currently lives in Oakland, California. Her work has appeared in Yellow Medicine Review, Bluestockings Magazine, Cloudthroat magazine, 580 split, Warship Zine and the Introduction to Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies: Interdisciplinary and Intersectional Approaches 1st Edition.

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