Sunday, February 15, 2009

And How Shall I Return ... (A response to B-Polite's "And How shall I Send Thee...") 1/2/09

PhotobucketDoor of No Return. Elmina Dungeon.
(Ghana, 2008)

And how shall I return to thee from the soul mines and ironic gates.

Thin and sharp. A butterfly knife blade ascending behind brass knuckle wings. Tongue cut and laden with shattered glass from the light bulb shoved in my mouth and broken. Poison melting into my flesh. Dying to re-emerge as the next. Descended from the first blood (die)monds to leave Africa, I have come to bring back the drums that were taken away.

The gift of freedom IS the sacrifice of slaves. I will return to thee awake and full. Our mother is sick. She slapped me in the face when I caressed her cheek. She doesn't recognize herself in me anymore. She can only see the white man that raped her. Wonder and chaos are no match for disgust. They can't find a cure. Doctors say she's been ill for too long. It's only a matter of time.

Butterflies and black bees carry gossip and greed. They boast in floats and stings. The skinned knees of stones skipped across the Atlantic bleed gold. Knee grows rock memories of lynchings around their necks and the children of the Africans that sold us will NEVER run out of money. They are "Well to do." But what do I do now that I know her body is gone? Where will I go to pay my respect?

Like Ibos flying over oceans landing home after generations of exile, I will smile for the ones who carry dreams of the Diaspora on their backs like snails over land. The Africa that was my mother died a long time ago. Everyone thinks I should've known, but I'm just now getting the news. I will go to the women and men that taught me who she was and pay respect to her memory there. She lives in my dreams, in my blood, in my body, in my work. I am the grave site. Flowers should be left at my feet. Homage and respect is paid here first. I am the response.

My mother need not be mistaken for that bitch who slapped me in the face. Everyone else knew it was a prank call except me. Family still, my aunt and cousins are complex. Strong and beautiful, but wounded in ways I was not ready to understand. The venomous snake bite against our mother's greatness. Blood is blood.

And how shall I return to thee? ... with many happy sojourns and rope burns from where thou hast sent me. Bow and arrow shooting lightning rods from the throat of the sun. I will SHOUT the seasons into change, burst, and glow. Never forgetting that I am branded by loved ones lifting me towards destiny, ancestors unsettling the dust in me, and children that will come.

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