grief spinning take me back to a time when the ghosts didn’t speak so loud. the haint that lived above my bed once held vigil for hisself alone; now he’s proselytizing about End of Days with just me in the pulpit, in the sheets. if it’s another dreamvision prophecy, let it pass. these pillowcases have learned me everything they could and i, a clamorous study, had to barrel headfirst into sorrow ---- so silly to see myself through shadowed thing engulfed by muffled silence. we are i suppose, all connected by our midnight histories. i want to bury my head in sand, let sediment break the meat of my cranium into hot foot powder. please, crush me into something useful. it might not raise the dead, but i heard them laughing until the sunrise led them into slumber. at least i entertained. not many can say the same. what i meant to say is i want to swim deep roam further into an infinite blue of want --- unburdened by bordered memory. being once property myself* i know what it means to depreciate my value to get old & stagnant, to be a co-conspirator with grief & wait patiently for the next spillover event. drop my body at the edge of green and let mycelium spread my gifts across memory’s dark underbelly. * After Lucille Clifton’s “Being Property Once Myself” a black hair study in commensalism, i.e. grease and glory in the marshlands of my scalp sit still, knees dig into small shoulders seating me steady as my grandmother’s raisined fingers grease the chitlin circuit of my scalp singing soft bayou hymns: you’re safe here. if i could maroon into the forest of my hair i would: no questions asked no notebooks left behind, unspoiled restore me back better, fill my knocked around head with box braids reminiscent of Mississippi cypress against a swamp of salty skin. this overgrown railroad of twist and coil rejects the dirty promise of industry the dust and rust honeyed into fertilizer where an insurgent bloom can emerge evergreen. here, there is no clank of metal no concrete coffins covering my most authentic kinkycurl iterations as memory begs my safe return any shoreline edge erosion is my responsibility and mine alone the fuzz of new growth, an epiphytic marvel marking tendrils territory for dispersal & comes with the wind, wind, rush. the naps at my kitchen signal season for an emergent abundance, untamed kanekalon bundles irritate me into length retention --- this is the veneration we make to protect our best selves & let our treetops seduce success under the golden sun.
About the Author
Ashia Ajani (they/she) is an award winning Black storyteller and environmental educator originally from Denver, CO, Queen City of the Plains and the unceded territory of the Cheyenne, Ute, Arapahoe and Comanche peoples. She is an environmental justice educator with Mycelium Youth Network. They have been published in Frontier Poetry, Exposition Review, Apogee Journal, Foglifter Press, World Literature Today, and Sierra Magazine, among others. Spend some time in their neck of the woods @ashiainbloom.
Feature image by socialcut/Unsplash
Comments are closed.