"The white fathers told us, "I think, therefore, I am" and the black mother within each of us – the poet – whispers in our dreams, I feel, therefore I can be free."- Audre Lorde

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Beast

You found me
in the shadow of the Beast

Bloody and trampled
you pulled me from the rutted earth
and slowly dusted off the pain

Though we always sensed its presence
you taught me to live
as if it wasn’t so near

In its shadow was where we grew
where we became
And where we fell

In its shadow
darkness and cool became
a hiding place
from the world and from beyond.

Tragically you became my sword and my courage
the substance of lies
of which I thought were needed
to slay the One whom we could not name
or even fully see

The Beast was so large
It could only be experienced
in looming fragments
Fragments that would make the ground shake
that would make the sun disappear
Like an eclipse to a reality that both mourned and feared
Its presence.

But the courage and the sword
You became
could not take down the Beast: only love could do that.

You told me it was a choice, not a feeling
And I believed you…
Until I felt the feeling

And suddenly “Choice” became
somewhat of a Beast in and of itself
that grew in the shadows
along with us—

A miniature Beast
that wedged itself deep
into the valve where tender sentiment
once flowed freely through the heart
and to the body.

In Its shadows I hid,
fearful and waiting for escape
waiting for cosmic hands to intervene

And take me
Or It

Death didn’t happen—
It rarely does when you expect it.

So you taught me to climb
To hold strong
To hold tightly
And so I did

Instead of living in Its shadows
I reached for the Beast— its incomprehensible enormity
And climbed
The way you told me I should

I said goodbye
And left you far below
Behind and among the shadows
where we once met

I climbed
Until fragments became pieces
And pieces became one.

I climbed
And as I climbed I discovered
that each realm of this Beast’s impenetrable body
welcomed new mysteries
new fears and old miseries—

With every inch of progress
came a fierce longing to be safe
in the darkness of the shadows
I once knew as home.

I held tight
because of steadfast hope
and because of steadfast despair

I held tight as the Beast tore through forests
I held on as the earth trembled beneath Its forceful stride

I held
As my body
was clumsily and effortlessly
thrown about
Like a wavering blade of grass
in the midst of a storm’s wind

But there was no storm
There was no wind
Only the bitter force
of the Beast’s
rash and violent movements.

And then suddenly,
I felt it—
The sun
The daylight the Beast had blocked
for so many years
was now near

Standing on the Beast’s back,
I now hold my quavering arms to the sky
And cry out

Because no measure of courage,
No number of swords
No power of death
No feat of escape
Could have ever had brought with it
Such remarkable and unparalleled beauty

And here on the Beast’s ghastly and unpredictable back
I am somehow both grounded and safe—

Here on the Beast’s back
I have found a home away from the shadows.

snail coitus makes me smile