A poem for 'Black Bois' May 1, 2018
by Imani Sims
A response to Dani Tirrell: Black Bois (Apr 26–29 at On the Boards) (Photo: Naomi Ishisaka)
We are the gatekeepers,
swallowed key lineage
budding on black top
stages, a wooded breath
covered in midnight shade,
the full moon an omen
of ancestors who mourn
the lost stories.
When thinking of the body, I think of the moments passed with each breath:
You cannot go to the god you love with your two legs:
This reminds me of the upright snake,
Christopher Cat noticed the 7 chakras
Aligned up spine, I wonder
If this was his way of teaching kids
That animals have souls too
And do not judge the snake,
A wise worshipper of moon,
Erect monument to kundalini
Coil in all its brilliance unfurled,
What of a god found in the grass
Or against sand
Or against cement
Or against grafittied tiles
In a New York subway,
What of a god you can see
But cannot touch, every breath
Of that being a prayer to its own
Lungs, a thank you to the wind for
Undulating unseen but wholly present.
If I cannot go to the god I love with my own two legs,
I’ll build a pair out of cedar,
Make forests of cement, shake the ground
With roots and deposit life on exhale.
Imani Sims is a bourbon-loving, stiletto-wearing, Seattle native who spun her first performance poem at the age of fourteen. Her book (A)live Heart is available on Sibling Rivalry Press.
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