issue 9: june 2016, Poetry
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Universal by Javetta Laster

twin sisters
born of the bayou.
black brown
with red embers glowing under their flesh.
their limbs are wooden.
men used to tie them around their collars,
praying to the figurines
after paying tithes to Jesus.
them together by their one name Dinkinesh, Lucille, or Lucy.
they have knotty dreads peppered
with cosmic star lint
and bones.
One has 3 teeth, one has a dozen, and the one with three teeth eats meat.
Their septums were pierced by shooting stars,
black holes swirl gauged into their ears.
Their wrinkles are earthquakes.
Lucy has a cane made of kundalini,
she threw a splinter down into Africa

folks been catching the holy ghost since.
Just can’t dig it out of the black.

Miz Lucy had some babies –
Seeds who ride wind from the immortal tree,
the children know her bark,
they speak to her fully in the language of magnolias

her words beached onto their tastebuds, a syntax sapped through
generations

She is Universal
She be crumbling dust, dusk and dawn
daring to sprinkle them across their bodies
Giving her children eyes colored the sunrise of soot
and skin the film of rain gliding over coal
It is because of her blackness that you can see the stars.


 

Javetta Laster creates a multidisciplinary/multimedia approach to storytelling and visits modern myth-making as a liberatory tool for folks with marginalized identities. She writes about the ways her life and her mother’s, grandmother’s, and great grandmother’s lives communicate their world views as Black Southern Women.  She lends those identities to folk fantasy, creating an interworld where childhood, myth and adulthood often blend into one another. As far as community involvement, her spacemaking/events move towards Queerness, Blackness, Womanhood and Collective Liberation. 

You can find her on tumblrtwitter, and instagram. Check out her project Afrikweer.

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