Moonwork, or the art of revaluing

Photo credit: Nikki Boutté

“Invest a narrative in someone you do not know” was the prompt I received before beginning Moonwork. Shortly thereafter, I met someone. He made my heart speak loudly so I began to write him poems. The poems collected here—sweaty, intimate, ethereal—are love poems written in real time. The alluring work of investigating deeply another human being slowly shifting. In time I began the real work, moonwork,—or, the art of revaluing what had been devalued. Slow and diligent I began investing a narrative within myself. Black, feminine, mother, spirit. That investment caught on.

Will the love poem capture this moment, this experience?

I am an artist curious about the love poem. Will it hold this thigh, or this hip? Will the love poem capture this moment, this experience? Will it illuminate the ways I had given myself over to love and what strength I’d found there? I hold space during shifting times—this is beauty! The daily rite of recording poems gently stirring feeling, reminding me of all the good ways a poet keeps on, keepin’ on…


Five poems from Moonwork

1.

Sunrise (over the Potomac)

thank God for this warmth
for the sky that is above us
and this darkness that feels
like light easing sleepy faced up over the horizon

and you / beauty / you in this moonlight
you behind the wheel moving us through space
the stars and the art we find scattered

in constellation about this town
the trees making arches above us
this date before Dawn in this City
the palms of my hands they run up
and down those bones of yours holding on slightly

then letting go slightly
and you this peaceful-beautiful thing that breathes and thinks and
dreams and dances in grace
this beautiful, beautiful Being
with his hands on my face
and his eyes looking at mine
and kissing me softly at Dawn
in this foreign city that feels
like my own in this body

i am still learning my way into.

The places we go in this silence.
There is just wonder here.
No other language, just wonder.

And yes, I have seen and felt things that I cannot explain
and yes, that in itself is magic—thank God
O, thank God
for this magic

I’ve found in him.


2.

Thighs that use to rub
don’t rub no more. The
art of losing weight and
letting things tired wade away
from you. The whispers of myself big-
bodied in darkness now holding loose skin.

70 lbs down I sit inside the uncomfortable places.

My first attempt at intimacy with myself / is strange
is searching, is fumbling fearfully over sunken nipples.

What is change
but a bloody process?

What is magic
but the embrace of change?

Everything you touch you change.

I am touching myself—
change.


3.

The presence of someone can make things about you change. Be it
routine or way of life. Best to find someone who got their own
things. Who can allow you little pockets of time to sit and be alone
by yourself, alone. Even if it’s just to smoke or get high or think
by yourself alone. Or, even if it’s to write small musings about the
person you’ve purposefully chosen to take yourself away from.
But it is also nice to move around someone. To make the bed while
they shower then slip on out to the fire escape to write them poems.
It is quite a beautiful feat to have another body disrupt your space.
It is quite a world you can make out there together
two strangers beginning to tangle.


4.

The night we discovered you
we poured a canteen of water over our heads
It did not let up for hours,
just washed over us in this endless flow of
Emotion and wetness and the magic of it all

Two humans, awake.

In the morning I am still deciding if I will
Keep you with me for term. Hair still dripping
From the night before. The whole of you
growing on the inside of my stomach
holding on easy to me like

nothing even happened
Just love making
Nothing even happened
Just curiosity
just two kids tryna
to do
right by
god


5.

The moon is so full it spooks me

Black

natural

surrounded by light

I walk to the mirror and see myself reflecting all
this
light.

A glowing thing,
drawing me away from my bedside

wild hair
bush free
no clothing
just me.

just me.

just me.

 

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