Angry Black Woman in Root Worker Drag

after Oya

Some nights
            I love this earth to dust
                       I shout umbilical prayers
                       & they rise 
            into tornado
I shake the spirit box
            surrounded by shards
                       then fling back the scabs
                       of houses
            Take my rivers
all of you
            & drink them
                       I need no permission
                       to drain
            the gourd
or split the hot
            yam center of dirt
                       my sacraments walk
            clothed in welts
but you don’t have to believe
            In my throat
                       the clutch of blood
                       Take my rivers
            all of you
& drink them
            I tear
                       & I tear open the breathless
                       cradle packed 
& blow the wall of wood
            sailing on my lifeline
                       the nine streams of spit
                       dammed by flying stone
            Now fall & call my name
a welcome for death
            & Didn’t my Lord deliver Daniel
                       is an empty pocket
                       turned inside


From The Glory Gets (Wesleyan University Press, 2015) by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers. Copyright © 2015 by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers. Used with the permission of the author.