I think about it a lot. See Skin Hunger 1 here.
What manner of touch can satisfy the hunger I have for touch that sees me,
Touch that feeds me and nurtures me,
Grows me and protects me?
Touch that gives to me and fills up the blank black spaces on my skin
With the intricacies of love and romance?
Skin hunger is a real thing.
It can even manifest as rashes, as stress pimples, as flaky scalp, as hair falling out for no reason other than that you’re horribly, unbearably lonely, whether or not you realise that.
Skin hunger manifests as rolling out of strange beds at irregular intervals;
As strange bodies that in the morning look out of place in your home;
Deep voices that suddenly grate;
Calls that never come;
Budding romance at 9pm that blooms into full life at 1am
And dies a quiet demeaning death before noon the next day,
Leaving a ravening shadow even more desperate for touch,
Prowling the streets for another hit.
Talk to your therapist. Drink your water. Fix your skin and your hair and the aches and pains of singledom. Do the work. It’s difficult but it’s doable, all it takes is love. Every day, as you pat your skin dry speak life into it. You are gorgeous and you are worth more than the one night stands you pretend serve your purposes. Stroke your own hair and speak lush life over it. It is your crowning glory, testament to your ancestry and to the strength of those who came before you, like your skin. Strength you can and should harness to create the love and the life you desire.
Practise self care, consciously and deliberately.
Love yourself hard.
Skin hunger doesn’t go away but when you stop thinking of it as a cross to bear and understand that it is evidence of fulfillment to come, you can walk tall knowing that being alone is not the same as being lonely;
Knowing that even if you are at times lonely
It is the loneliness that pushes you to do better
To cross the valley of shadows and drink the sun.
It is the loneliness that reminds you of who, when and why you are,
And to which you can defiantly shout: this is a now thing, not a forever thing.
And then the hunger passes, that achy skin hunger, and you live to love another day.
Skin hunger is real and the best way to resist the self-destructive behaviours it can inspire is to love yourself harder than you’ve ever loved before.
Love yourself fiercely, honestly, radically;
Give yourself the nourishment you need and one day you’ll look back on your years in the desert and use the knowledge and experience you gained there to help others come through unscathed.
We struggle not just for ourselves but for those who come after us. All of black womanhood is built on the collective experiences of each individual woman. Love yourself, love others, learn, teach.