do you remember the incorrigible smell of freedom?
remember your first taste of forbidden pears as you kissed her pulpy lips?
ever catch your grandmama lying, as she shouted “to god be the glory”?
do you laugh in the face of your mother when she curses your name?
do you remember the blue woman walking to no where?
the brown woman dancing near hell’s window?
have you gotten any sunlight lately?
do you remember the man? you know the big bold man? not the one from your dreams? the man of blue ambitions and false appearances, like the ones Sippie Wallace and Etta Jones used to sing about? a man that could pick you and your mama up in one swipe –
a man of stoutness and capability? was your mama a woman of fleshy legs and a travel case of regret? leaving your daddy to dirt? or a lady with a limping ego and skinny, little legs that weren’t meant for standing in one place for too long?
does she regret you? do you see it on her face?
is it in her beady eyes or the devilish tone of her voice? dismissive but heightened angst? do you recall the lashes on your thighs from her child-like rage? the smirks wrinkling down your wrists from an adolescent daze? do you remember your daddy’s death humming above your pillow at night? remember your mother’s face? her trembling hands smoothing the blue tea cup? wings sprouting from her shame?
or was it his shame? do you remember his name?
do you need a revealing? not like a palm reading but like a therapeutic teaching of old formulas? an algorithm to the stars? do you remember your people? the hands that rocked you, fed your urge and hushed you home? the ones that smelled of sage and thyme infusion? black-eyed pea juice and too-sweet-cornbread? the fearless ones who hoped and strained and tread upward anyway? the feisty ones who rolled funny-looking cigarettes and hunched private areas in the dark? the quiet ones who observed that hunching and moved forward in reservation? do you sometimes have the odd craving for lavender and lemon upon your lips? or a sweet swig of rum to distinguish that fire between your hips? sometimes catch yourself rubbing right under your eyebrows cause that’s the way your aunt isabella used to do? rubbing away yesterday’s pain like somebody you never even knew, while hoping to strike something that you ain’t never really had a hold of?
if so, then you probably need a healing.
if not, continue barely forward.
Jasmine Simone is a freelance writer, born and raised in dallas, texas. she graduated from the university of north texas with a B.A. in English / creative writing and a certificate in technical writing. some of her topics of interest include: millennials, women authors, the arts/humanities, and psychology. “the beast who treads the earth at night” is her first work of published poetry and is available on amazon. she is currently working on her first short story. You can find her on wordpress and twitter.