Watching the offering that was Lemonade stirred up all the earth that had settled at the bottom of my sea. Gold flecks caught the attention of the moonlight and whispered to me that maybe it was time to reveal my treasures. Your value, said Osun, is more prismatic than light.
Ebony skin smoothed and slick like moss on rocks I closed my eyes and looked upwards at the heavens. Constellations marked my skin in freckles reminding me that I, too am an endless horizon stories unknown and expanse immeasurable.
I spent a year trapped in my body. Believing I was flesh and bone, spoiled and diminished by the unwelcomed. The sky was the only freedom from his influence. Because I am wider than my hips, more full than my lips, taller than the Andes and softer than the inside of a rose’s petal; he no longer laid claim to me. Nothing of mine was stolen because where I exist is beyond reach.
There are memories in my skin. Fingerprints tell my age in centuries I am older than the redwoods. Southern trees bear a strang fruit. Southern women sweat tears of generations. Our bosom vast to comfort the hurt of the nation. Who comforts us if not Yemayá?
Tell me, are you surprised God is a woman? When her waves sing of love and forgiveness is it not a sweet soprano? But what of the great roar of storms, hurricanes and ships tossed into harbors; strength of men surely. Remember the womb from which all sounds first echoed. Cavernous her being she sacrificed her form to carry humanity, mother you are God.
Grip tight on my spine I lay to rest and inhale deep the perfume of flowers. Everything comes to the light. Bulbs open, moths fly and as she spreads her legs and pushes, the next generation covered in her blood is brought to life in the light.
I learn to honor my mother. I grow to honor my Creator. I shine to honor the women who live in skin like mine. Persimmon. Cocoa. Tar. Midnight. Dark and frightening because we cannot be contained. We cannot be solved. We cannot be silenced.
You see me when you close your eyes. You return to me. Black. Mother. Earth. You replenish me and in my surrender to you in prayer in triumph or in rest, it is only darkness that makes me whole once again.