US BY US MAGAZINE

We need to talk about...Fatphobia in The Haitian Community

For my Haitian folx, have you ever walked into a family gathering and the first thing your Tatie or Tonton says to you is “Listen cheri, you need to lose weight” while disguising their disgust with “I only say this because I care for you”? How about when you go up for that second plate and you can feel their eyes piercing your body, watching how much griot you will take? The reality is, you don’t need to lose weight and whoever is staring at you is probably projecting their fear of weight gain onto you. Far too many times I’ve witnessed and have been apart of situations where someone is spewing something anti-fat or just blatantly being fatphobic. Which results in the victim having a negativ

Silenced Pleas

Silenced Pleas (Experience) Without knowing me well, you constructed a reality Without telling you, I let you wreck my sanity And because you were so sensitive, I let it happen in silence I know you’d suffer endlessly if I told you about your violence It was seemingly loving, and I guess you meant well I wondered why you didn’t think the same for me, it’s the part you forgot to tell I gave you the benefit of the doubt, the benefit of naïveté and youth And you ran around and told your own version of the truth That’s all good but you could’ve cared enough to ask my side People don’t pull away when they’re having a good time I was going through a lot and put myself second for you Because you we

I know Her

I know her she hates that i know her so well every inch of her speaks to me but she hates it, i can tell, she hates it real strongly. she keeps me dimmed she keeps me quiet she says it's because I always cause a riot, I'm always raising hell. she worries about what they'd say, who would see, who would tell.. I never gave a damn, not a fuck, not one inch. I've always been about us, about Her and myself. but she's scared, so damn scared of me handling us that she keeps me shut in her mind, locked up. but i scream loudly sometimes, very very loudly in her mind because she hurts us so often because, to me, she doesn't listen! she lets different men and women in… and they always break everything!

“Hello body of mine”

Hello in the morning, as my eyes open I smell your skin and i smile. I look down at your stomach, follow it's lines, watch how it grows and shrinks, and i smile. I feel the caress of your hair on my cheeks and my chin as it blows under the fan and i smile. Hello body of mine, good morning. I'm so happy you woke, Its a sign you're a champion. there's not much going on beyond your mounts of covers, but i'd like to say, body, the way you carry yourself makes me not want to wake up next to anyone else. by Leila Lherisson

Featherlight

I sometimes wonder how one feels When they no longer question why they’re here… When their questions all seem answered And their fears are all conquered… How one feels in this questionable universe.. At peace? Completely alright? Calm? Composed? Featherlight? I guess I might figure this out the day I lay deep underground Because only then will my soul be freed From the dreadful pull of this earth’s gravity.. Written by Leila Lherisson

Sag

My titties are art They sit flat on my chest They’re closest to my heart Deserving love, none less. Some ask who did that? How come your titties this flat? You’re too young to sag Get this shit fixed, fast. Fool me once, shame on men Had me thinking Them titties were weak and That I needed to tweak them. But my titties are art Should’ve known to not Doubt the universe In her creation of them. My titties are art From nipple to stretch marks, My saggy titties are ART. Written by Leila Lherisson

Every Girl is A Colored Girl

Positive. Green. “Maybe that test was jacked.” You say. You feel hurt. You are confused. You’re hoping this frantic episode will clear enough for to form a singular thought. You are experiencing betrayal. Hurt: To whom it may concern, 17. He had no right to run in your garden. Trampling row upon row of delicacy Where the innocence of Perennials was once laid now grows blood red broken petals With each waking breath, each contracted muscle those blood red broken petals break even more. Reminiscence turns into getting rid of his essence. You scrub so hard under the suds erect bruises. You don’t want him or even a portion, so this scenario ends with you and abortion. Confused: To whom it may co

A black woman with a voice

I only know two things for sure: life can sprout in my womb and melanin maps my skin. I’m a black woman. My womanhood does not and can not suppress my blackness. My blackness does not and can not precede my womanhood. I’m the walking sun - snatched from the sky - floating to freedom on a golden raft. I’m the secret passageway between the divine and the mundane. I can unleash a seism with words - within, through, out of my chest and my pen. I find my truth in my words. I find my power in my truth. Everything else about my identity is challengeable, mutable and erasable. I own my ability to carry a myriad of life forms, my pigmented shell and my voice. by Slandie Prinston

Being a Haitian Woman

Being a Haitian woman Means always being the first But often forgotten It means grandma never went To school So teaching her to write Cicelda Was my biggest accomplishment Being a Haitian woman Is diri, saucepwa, griot and pikliz Being a Haitian woman Is being mother of a nation It's goddesses, spirits and ancestors Flowing through my body As a medium Being a Haitian woman is loving My dark skin full lips Thick brows Slightly gapped front teeth And wooly curls It's L'union fait la force rue. 2 And remembering the chay Cicelda carried by the aches in her body Being a Haitian woman is having the spirits of my mother My grandmother Madame and tia Festering inside of me Forcing me to Speak our t

Haitians and mental health: a taboo subject

This may sound incredibly cliché, but it was indeed on a very rainy day back in 2016, when a very close friend of mine had the courage to confide in me about a very personal matter. It was Saturday, and most young people were out partying— but my friend was sitting at home, curled up in tears. I find it necessary to point out the fact that my friend came from a very traditional and conservative Haitian family. Where the prescriptions for emotional pain were typically the following: "Pray. It's just Satan trying to trick you." "Ah, get over it" "You're just bored, find yourself something to do." He was always the life of the party, he was a clown. It was all smiles when he was around. You wou

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts? In the end, it will be me and my Words. My Brain will be buried with me. There is nothing more final than a Thought. When I’ve made love to every corner of my Loves, my Languages, I will rest. I welcome Death For in it I’ll be reminiscent of the melody of Mon Coeur In the sinful spice of “Salacious” on my Tongue. In the superpower of transcribing Thought to Page. And being able to experience Experience all over again. In the end, it will be me and my Thoughts. My Notebooks will envy my Mental Neville Longbottom will perforate my think space as I collaborate With my Brain to craft a reality That maintains fantasy Books are in my blood. Writing is more than me—in my DNA exponen

Purple, Yellow and White Light

In a village of un-visited creek sides and plantations That once carried the bones and skins of my ancestors, I emerged out of its brown soil with stars and wings on my back To continue writing on the carvings that they left for me. My feet appeared to recognize the diameters where, Each household was located, and songs were danced to. In the depth of my womb, The birth of what once was real and physical Made itself known and imagined. Tears dropped themselves out of my glowing eyes, And languages once said to be myths emerged out of my throat. With arms wide open and chest uplifted, The wind moved towards me in wavelike motions and Whispered a story in my ears for solely mine to hear and ev

Blue Magic

Thursday evenings in the Anderson household were about routine. It was laundry day. It was garage clean-up day. It was refrigerator inventory day. Mabel knew this because it had been her own routine for the last fifty years. Today, it was part of her life, sunken into her skin like wrinkles of time, a result of being alive for far too long. She willed her knees to push her up from the basement, through the swinging door of the kitchen. After Earl’s passing, she found herself wearing many of his hats in a way that was too natural to be comfortable. Her long-time friend had put it best, about a month after the funeral: “It’s like you had been waiting all along to do this.” Her toolbox went rig

#OnTiLimyè - Through the words of its curators 

- Before we start, would you mind briefly introducing yourself to [y]our readers? Hey! I’m Kelly, but I go by Noiredelatour. I’m twenty-three, I live in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and I’m a photographer, a writer, and a visual content creator. I served my four-year college sentence in Marketing and Communications, and I’ve been everywhere from start-ups in Queens, to a full-fledged manager in an office, with a few odd-jobs in between. I’ve always had a passion for writing and an eye for photography, and doing my own thing was the one way I could do both, so… That’s where we’re at now! - We know you under the alias noiredelatour, and that alias is attached to texts as much as pictures. Would you

Uneven

“…I don’t know how to explain it. It just felt right. You know what I mean, right?” “Mm-hmm.” He cocked his head. “You have no idea what I just said, do you?” A smile crept onto his face. “No! I mean, yeah, of course! I heard you, I was just thinking about the whole thing, you know?” Whew. That was close. Every waking moment of every day felt like walking on a tightrope. How long before he notices? The answer was always different, but recently, she had nearly gotten her cover blown a couple of times. If she wasn’t so attuned, she would miss her window out of a sticky situation, every time. Head in her lap, he rubbed his eyes and yawned. “It’s getting kind of late. Drop you back now?” Before

Community Psychology

Written in bold black letters across the whiteboard was a term that in my five years of psychology exposure had never been introduced to me. Sitting around a handful of seasoned seniors I saw a blank expression cross the faces of my peers as they clearly had also not been taught about this in the repetitive lessons on Freudianism, behaviorism, and the other psychological approaches. We sat idly waiting for an authority to arrive, some texting, others forging small groups to tackle what was to be a daunting semester, until a very tall wiry man walked up to the front of the room. I can’t give any other description other than he reminded me of the character “The B.F.G.” from the Roald Dahl tale

The Michelin Woes

If you were to ask me to sum up 2018 in one word it would be: food. We saw a rise in the people’s love of food and the various ways to experiment with it. Veganism became a routinely google’d word, Instagram cut the middle man out of the culinary world, and twitter saw even the most mundane person beam with pride as they presented their weekly culinary challenge. 2018 sparked a new appreciation for food that I never had before, gone were the days of consuming meals without a single thought of the process and labor that went into the meal that had just been presented before me. In its place was born an almost all consuming obsession and an intense desire to be caught up in the ubiqui

Letter to JènFi

Hello again, and welcome to my brain farts. I’ll start by saying I’m no expert on anything, therefore that the following would just be my point of view. In my mind, I’m speaking to a “young woman”, freshly introduced to the world of fornication. Dear young one, Welcome to Sex. You are now aware of the existence of this deep canal of yours, and are only aware of it now because it has officially been penetrated, visited, spread out... and hurt. Yes, hurt, because for a lot of us, if not most, this first visit is definitely one of the most painful ones. You probably bled and it was probably awkward and painful. Do not fear however, for with time, good, safe and consensual practice, this pain wi

Tim Tim? Bwa sèch!

Tim Tim! Bwa sèch! When the sun kissed my last Caribbean twilight I wrote my goodbyes in cursive on the soles of my favorite boots Thus my journey began As the first stars peered through the night sky, the tide rose and the winds yawned awake Sails drawn, oars at the ready, le voyageur ready for my promised shores Anacaona saw me off as she tied her last brace to heartstrings and the sound of past revolutions set the rhythm to my journey. In time I fought Poseidon’s trembles,  befriended Ulysses’ lovers and made it just in time to whiteness the new world breath As I disembarked I quickly realized the promised land of riches gold and glory was now a watered down children’s tale A sonnet st