v: hips

I haven’t written in a minute, so I’m mostly going through old pieces. This is from a 3000 word writing sprint I did on my birthday last year. It’s… ya know, it is what it is, but I might as well try and put something up. 


My hips are a drum rhythm that I have never known how to handle.

They cannot help but move and sway when the right music comes on, but I never quite know what to do with them. I am not a graceful dancer, but an ability to move and rotate these hips were enough to make me a mediocre-to-okay salsa and ballroom competitor in college. What I lacked in grace, I made up for in the ability to swirl my hips in tempo with the music, my body moving in ways I didn’t fully understand yet. Men would touch places on my hips and I knew to turn one way or another or they would send me out to make space on the dance floor, causing me to hip-check people as they extended my body across like a weapon.

Now, my hips are more every day nuisance than the maracas I shake to be noticed. I put my hands on them when I walk around my classroom, or when I demonstrate how to keep my balance when I coach my middle school students through yoga poses. I don’t dislike them, I just don’t really notice them. My hips will occasionally bounce around to Lizzo or whatever rhythm I find while I’m running or while I clean the house. When I hear Latin music— the other day out on the street,  a Latin jazz band played— they will feel a sparkle and tinge, asking if they should move now. I sigh with a little nostalgia but my hips have only ever known how to be competitive for attention and it’s a quality about myself that I do not like and prefer not to indulge.

The only times I actively like them is when see them in the mirror, the skin around them taut and curved like a drum. It’s a reminder that under the muscle and tissue there is something hard and strong. Sometimes, Michael wraps his hands around them, his fingers pressing into the bones as if he were going to leave his fingerprints in them, and comes up behind me, kissing my ear and telling me I look pretty. Sometimes, he will kiss them when he gets up from bed. I think of the babies I want to give us that will, God willing, be easily birthed from these hips.

Then, I am grateful for them.

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