Shut Up

By Comfort Mussa

Do not discuss me

like you do war zones:

I am not a basket case.

When you’re done analyzing my body,

Concluding my breasts are ironed and vagina mutilated,

You glance at my brain.

Hmm good relief.

Why bother?

Why see only what ‘covers’ my brain?

Yes, I wear my hair natural –

Now what?

It’s the only part of my body not tampered with,


Even as the rest of me was prepared for you,

For your consumption–


In this constituency, my body, only one vote counts.Mine.

I won’t wait for you to shut up

I know better, now.

I’ll listen to me. I have something brighter

I’ll go and have a chat with my sisters.

If our laughter draws you in, feel free to pull a seat outside the window and learn–

This piece was written during the African Women’s Development Fund and Femrite African Women Creative Non-Fiction Writing Workshop in Uganda, July 2014.

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