Black Women Bodies

What happens when black women
Who have died more than once get to heaven?

I imagine that all worship stops
And all other women gather
To await the coming of a storm
But it’s all joy and ululation
Because death has become our saving grace
One woman arrives
Ushered by the greatest of her great grandmothers She sits in front of a timeline of women
Fallen from her family tree
And with a sigh dragged from the back of her mouth
She says, “I think we’re going to need more wine

Gabrielle has died more eight times
along with all her joy in bundles.
Her body has kept her prisoner for decades
for being woman,
convinced her arms aren’t warm enough to cradle mankind.
Her womb couldn’t stomach
the screams of babies born of;
Loud bones,
Of warrior descent,
Babies born of a woman who holds power on her tongue.

Another woman arrives;
a gleaming light,
to a congregation of women singing
‘Hosanna In The Highest’
My mother, a woman of the cloth
fed us prayer when she realized
that sometimes death is building entire worlds
in the heart of another,
only for them to set sail and settle
in the backyards of other dying women;
to build crumbling castles in the air,
to play house
and then step out
and leave them raising black Barbie dolls in broken homes.

Two women, unsure of themselves…
It showed in their steps
and as their innocence crept
they kept looking back at their fading dreams
too young to fathom how death
found them snug in the arms of their so-called lovers.
uZolile noJabulile;
their names sound like a quiet storm
unlucky to have stirred up a mess of a love.
They woke sleeping Goliaths
with not enough Davids in their throats.
They died by the gun
and fell at the feet of their men.

One woman walked in a flame,
she came flickering to her demise.
Followed by another;
A massive explosion,
A super nova
I guess it is true, that some stars glimmer long after they have died
and maybe,
to die before you die is a synonym for
black women bodies.

I too have died;
In pages
On stages
In hallways untwining my fingers from my lovers’
Too afraid of stares and slurs
I grew tired of loving with my art
Every lover a metaphor
How could I dress my heart in such awkward attires of dissonance
for such an honest love?
But how could I not?
What harmony could come from such heavy fright?

My thoughts take flight and hover over the women of;
Kampala,
Nigeria,
Darfur,
The South…
Africa has always raised her daughters with their heads held high
while her hands stayed tied,
her belly mined of her gold and oils
and still remained the uproar of oppressed nations.

Some women are born cities!
They are skyscrapers,
born to stand erect and re-write history.
Others are synagogues,
they are places of worship.
Some are igloos,
they are incredible things of marvel.
Some are oceans of holy,
oceans of baptism reduced to blood rivers.
We are walking monuments!
But first;
we are people,
WOMEN
and we are not afraid of dying.

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