fragments salvaged from the oracles of mama-n-em

in order of recovery

book 1987
even when i say i—
i do not speak singularly.
more like singularity.
we be chorusing
through the course
of the world. more
like multiplicity. like
assemblage. there’s a reason
why when i speak, people say i
sound just like my mama.
because my mama-n-em
is speaking in me
& through me & with me.
yes. before my tongue
causes undue harm
may i remember that it is my mama-
n-em speaking with me.

book 27
besides if you’re so worried about
knowing what you cannot know now,
how can you know what i need
you to know in this moment,
which is that i’m tired. &
my tongue is sore. my spirit aches.
& i want to know. can you
fit me right there? right there
in the crest of your arm? can i rest
here? please. let’s keep in touch.
don’t let me lose

From motherworld: a devotional for the alter-life (Action Books, 2023) by Destiny Hemphill. Copyright © 2023 by Destiny Hemphill. Used with the permission of the author.