ancient goddess

i wrote a poem for a piece i have going up, made with laminate paper, glass, and temporary ink. the prompt was Poetic Pigments. here it is..

Her life

cut

along the lines of

premature perforation.

Black trans gurls know too well

an open and visible seam,

laced out in the street.

Our bodies

collaging, relics of beauty /

composed in raw materials

of our choosing.

An existing and existential

limit for the representative.

Divinity traffics here,

in jagged edge and tilted line,

that is

a copulation of gender and spirit,

the one who is not one,

but moves as all.

As Ntozake had said,

of colored girls,

“my spirit is too ancient to understand the separation of soul and gender.”[i] /

we were there, too—sick of rainbows.

Lady-boys in black,

Saeed had called it “a negligee of gnats”[ii]:

no one can figure us

except

the iconoclast,

as a chasm for closed-door desire,

sexual stunt

of grisly men,

drunk with future broken promise.

 

But what of a Black trans gurl swan song

of triumph?

 

Ashley Moore.

A name to say more of.

Sororal rage

will

Avenge her. /

Chant and ritual,

Broad and Fulton,

Park and Rector.

Pour out libation there

and wait for the voice

of Ashley’s wrath,

an ancient goddess seeking.


[i] Ntozake Shange, for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf (Shameless Hussy Press, 1975).

 

[ii] Saeed Jones, “Boy in a Stolen Evening Gown” in Prelude to a Bruise (Coffee House Press, 2014).

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