The reason why I don’t like the saying my person is, well, try to use it in a song. It just doesn’t sound very nice at all to fall from lips ladled with that my person to whisper, to a someone, at a time, on a night when the mind’s madness turns into music. Alone, I switch out Smokey Robinson’s lyrics.

I imagine him sing-songily singing in a way that only he can—

Ooo, my person, my person.

And I laugh.


If I loved someone, I would let them be my baby.

A baby, instead of my person, so that they may get treated carefully when they wail. ‘Meet their accidental burps with a pat to the back to let them know that these things happen. A baby, instead of my person, so that they may know how to be still enough to become swaddled by my arms if nothing else can hold them together.

If I loved someone, I would let them be my baby to place them in the position of a sweet pet name, to remind them that I know where all their soft spots are and that I promise not to touch them with a punishing press to their skull.


I think about how when I was younger it was always, Go easy on them. They just a child. They don’t know no better.

I think about how now that I’m older it has become, Go harder on them. They a person. They should know better.

And I ask, not anyone in particular at all, why does the child-to-person change bring about such a lack of grace?

As if I will have an eternity to forget the hurts that have come my way? To stop, and see, and feel those hurts with an indifferent familiarity like a person accustomed to their clumsies? I imagine that the would-be eternity could shape the pain of the hurt to pinch like a pesky mosquito bite, and not slice like an indecisive needle, seeking so much from me. But all I have is today, and hopefully tomorrow. All I have is a short time. And in my short time, I have spent so much of it obsessing about all my little hurts, and I still I feel that I do not know any better for the new days that will possibly come. What then, if at all, kind of my person does that make out to be?


The songs lie to me. They know that persons aren’t very good people, sometimes. That living isn’t very good always, either.

They call us the opposite of what we really are because of the possibility of what we could become, how life could be. It’s all so very idealistic, to believe that softness is the solution-protest against the calloused person, the hurt-filled life. That to move forward is to go back to gentleness once more, and always, where grace is never gone and clumsies are catered to carefully.

Confession: Alone, I think I sort of believe.

I imagine me sing-songily-singing in a way that only I

can—                                                      Ooo, Baby, Baby. My Cheri Amour. Sweet Love.

And I cry.

Exodus Oktavia Brownlow

Exodus Oktavia Brownlow is a Blackhawk, Mississippi native writer. You can find her at

1 thought on “I Don’t Want to Be a Person’s My Person Because Persons Aren’t Very Good People | Exodus Oktavia Brownlow

  1. Reply
    Lula Campbell - June 3, 2023

    Thank you for sharing your talent
    with the world.. This piece is mind
    provoking. Interesting.

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