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Death and all its friends



When people ask me how to use sage on a Friday morning

I tell them to first

Open all of the windows

Make sure you are wearing something relaxing

Comforting

Have positive intentions

Light

Sage will continue to burn until your spiritual journey is complete

When I die I want a Black woman to eulogize me

I know

Only a black woman could understand the bosom bust and bones left at the alter

Only a black woman

could orate a life of such spectacle

Such wonder


I've been surrounded by Black Death my whole life

Some of my fondest memories were spent in a pew

Beside my sister

With a dead body festering at the alter

Our giggles blending in with the hymns of grief

Now I do not know the difference between crying and laughing

My aunt died next to my Bigma

While she was sleeping

She woke up to a body

But the child that once clung to her bosom

she had been missing the whole night


In the dead of June, death suffocates my memories

I see

hands over chests

I hear

the rattle of my Grandmothers breath

searching an empty cavity for her baby’s soul

That she never found

"Open a window" she said.

They left a Black woman’s body in her mamas house for hours

Hours

she lay in death

in the only place her mama could lay in sleep that night

I Wonder if she felt the earth cracking in the stillness of the side of the room her baby died

Or if the newfound sanctity of the space reminded her of her Holy spirit

"Open a window

Let her soul wander free"

My Bigmama said





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