By JESICA BLANDON
When your skin smells of a renaissance does
That mean change resides in your soul?
Whispers in a cadence familiar to my ears to keep her child
sleeping. Dreams of a revolution.
She tells the world that I’m never home
Because I’ve been making my bed in workshops with children
my own age
who write letters of homage to the sun and for the stars.
I bleed ink dreams for them.
Across a milky way of sparkling possibilities
And a thousand sonnets.
My limbs set ablaze a pen and pale pages holding a Mardi Gras
behind my rib cage
after the levees have been broken.
This is how I write (when no one’s looking).
Mama your hums are hymns to my prophecy.
And it’s true I’m never home but
Between the 5 children I know who hold their tears back
in fear of dehydration
and the tiny shoes that hang from the phone line
in remembrance of those we lost to stray bullets —
I can’t find a reason to stay home.
I can’t find a reason to keep the word locked up behind lips
that choose to stay home.
But don’t get it twisted Mama,
I’m still yours forever.
A soul tied to your navel.
And the distance between you and I
can be measured by umbilical cords: Hee, hee. Whoo, Whoo
Your song beckoned me into this world.
A metaphor wrapped up in tan skin.
The ink salute of a million burdens.
Me the girl who tried to fly
but never took the time to grow wings.
A poet who slams her soul
and loans her finger nails
to those who need to scrape themselves up
from the bottom of their own self-pity.
You know once a girl asked me what my greatest fear was.
And with shivers down my spine
I told her that it was in the silence
that I found my heart jumping.
A million broken breaths
And heaving lungs.
My tonsils swollen.
See this is how the words of a revolution
corrupt your insides when not spoken.
Call Che Guevara, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X
and Nelson Mandela.
Tell them your daughter has committed her lungs to the
Surrendered her ears to the word
and is willing to die for her art.
My heart is beating to the rhythm of broken ignorance,
And Leonardo has painted Mona Lisa on my spine.
Mama my skin is a renaissance
waiting to happen beneath the eyelids of many.
My words a symbol of the resistance.
My tongue a poet in itself.
Does this make me a revolutionary?
Does the fact that I spit to leave souls drained and
Bite my tongue for no one mean
I’m a revolutionary?
Does the fact that
Score cards haven’t altered my message
make me a revolutionary?