Juneteenth 2070

Sweetness dwells underneath my palms 

Gentle and easeful when needed 

By touch and nature,

Reaching out, 

caressing like the lavender swaying in the fields

God makin’ herself known in the colors we rarely see

Like the chosen kinship between Shug and Celie

Between fire and water

Red and blue

Green and yellow

Black and brown

Mixing into something deeper than underground

And higher than Jupiter, Mercury, and infinity.

Broken down and ground,

Anchored at the souls of my feet.

This is a discovered invitation

Found by concealing my face, the longing in my eyes

And turning my back with my arms outstretched 

Wandering and wondering about the abstractions,

Constructions, inherent instructions 

Of living life with this particular classification of soil-toned skin,

Asking the stars:

What kind of flowers did Granny lay with when she realized she was the Earth?

What kind of trees does she grow?

Does she know she feels just like the Autumn wind?

What is this quiet strength that dwells behind my tongue?

I know that I am made up of many things,

Known and unknown

Not among most but somehow 

in the midst,

in the air, 

in the footsteps

and fingerprints

Stained of red clay

Scented with tobacco leaves 

Ivory tusks transformed into black wrists

Gripping extension cords mimicking cracked whips 

Decorated with Pandora charm bracelets and mauve-painted fingertips.

I am made up of many things like engrained pathological responses to harshness

Like crying out in the silence of the dark

Or cringing at the taste of salt water dripping from my own face.

Things that are familiar like mundanity and false realities,

Lies and corruptions

Hypocrisies that almost act as if it is a tragedy to my identity,

Subconsciously rejecting the notion that

I am the sole reason for my circumstances and man-made poverty,

That I would be better off stretching my arms out to the slave master’s tools


I am in search of something that is beyond our definition of abstraction.

I want handwritten recipes and holistic materials and remedies 

Because all I know is that burgundy wine and dark skin men with the nappiest of roots soothe me.

Tobacco leaves filled with people-pleasing tendencies and trauma responses get burned

Taken up to the head and blown out into the wind,

Cradled by yellow hands carrying me back home.

I am in search of Granny’s shoemaking tools.

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