I’m a Cancer so I have a hard shell ’round my soft heart— that’s what the horoscopes say and I believe ’em. What I don’t understand is that I’ve been a Cancer all my life, but I ain’t always have this hard shell. Always had this soft heart, though. I used to be a giving woman— gave without thinking, without worryin’ about myself. Long as I was shelling out love, I was fine. Didn’t matter if I got hurt, I’d give and give. Wasn’t ’til I met this bullyin’ Virgo that I started growing this shell. He hurt me like I ain’t never allowed myself to be hurt before. He only thought of hisself and kept me cryin’ over all them other women. He’d say, “If you don’t brown my biscuits how I like ’em, there’s a woman over on Jackson Boulevard who’ll brown ’em right!” I shoulda told him to gone on to Jackson Boulevard. He told me about all his women: Brenda who was into women, Shelby who had meat on her bones, and Tina who worked the way a man oughta. Of course, there were more and I knew (still know) all their names. They ain’t know about me. He said I wasn’t important enough to know; said I’d never be until I brought home more bread, cooked better, and got me some hip fat. He chewed me up; spit me out— that’s why I got this ol’ hard shell. Gonna take dynamite to break it.