Krip Joy

November 2021

When I was a child in a hospital bed, I longed for wheelchair rides down long, cold hospital hallways to the outside where I could experience the sun on my cheeks—krip joy.

When I swim alongside nondisabled friends, family, or strangers, I smirk because I have no limits in the water.

That’s krip joy.

En bici I wobble, am terrible at left turns and plan ahead to avoid them but can trek miles on two wheels rather than blocks on two crutches.

Yes, krip joy.

When I race through museums in borrowed wheelchairs, zooming to the art that sings to me, rolling forward—backward—forward again, interpreting the modern art in a head stoned and spinning, people are stunned or electrified by my brazen gall to take up public space, and so quickly.

That’s krip joy.

23 years-old, walking into the room with my large breasts showing off their impressive cleavage that distracts from my scars and crutches.

It’s krip joy again.

37 years-old, walking into the room with my even larger breasts show off their impressive cleavage, with the help of a struggling support bra, distracting from my scars and crutches.

Oh yes, krip joy.

In poem, sexualizing my body that I was conditioned to believe isn’t sexy.

That’s krip joy.

In prose or person, asserting my agency to doctors and a medical complex that believes my body isn’t able to make up its own mind.

That’s krip agony, anger, frustration, and eventually joy.

My krip voice only exists in tandem with my Chicana voice, poor kid voice, survivor voice, white voice, femme voice—my totality. My voice. My voice brings me joy because I found it, and I use it. Now that’s krip joy.

Alisha is looking at the camera and wearing a white surgical mask, glittery teardrop earrings, and a black shirt with her black hair set against green trees in the background.

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