For Mama Chola, Mami Wata, Yemaya & Oshun
The Principle of Conservation This water speaks a promise in the tongue of ghosts, of slave-descendants, of sleepy-lisped sharecroppers, of quick-witted sinkers and heavy- fleshed bone weavers. Its fluid whisper tells of past lives and names I’ve carried–mutinous rebel, suicidist and slave, insurrectionist at rest– inside this swell of late where hardwood scars curve rings, spitshined to specter. Living, it seems, is the lingering work of cumulative riots and fists humid with labor, or even the recurring dreams I subconsciously summon in which I fear a death that never visits. Instead, I dance between third eyes of every beholder to testify of resilience that survived, that rose from the unbearable burden of need to the freedom of lacking nothing. My past, is a testament beyond erasure, beyond myth or narrative revisioned. You see, energy can’t be destroyed or made new. In this metaphysic, not one of us dies from want or lack or saving or flight From one life to the next, not one of us dies. All that matters, simply transforms.