• US BY US COLLECTIVE

Origins by Devonne


Born of Captives

Born of Konpa, Racine Tanbou

Enrolled in “Pura Vida”, striving to reach a shelf holding impossibly placed success.

Born into a world that decided I am genetically predestined to lose

Because I am too woman and man’s ego is too bruised.

Descendant of the first Black Republic.

Product of the occupied, colonized, blood-ridden lands.

Legacy of the degraded, invaded, enslaved, monarchs who were withheld from the truth:

that they were so much more than the tie-dye colored welts on their fathers’ backs.

That they were more than the screams escaping the mouths of their mothers whose bodies were ravaged by the most ravenous of beasts.

I am from nightly recitals of passages and proverbs.

From “The lord is my shepherd, I shall not want…”

Grandmother assuring her ducklings her deity would protect us, if we committed ourselves to a life of subordination. To “close your eyes and bow your heads, and kneel before the head of your bed.”

With the greatest intentions, of course. In the most affectionate of ways, of course.

I am versed in “God first, earthly tethers second. Religion second to nothing and no one.”

I am born from religious pioneers who hold their tongues in disapproval of my spiritual conversions.

I am too familiar with the looks given to a let-down.

I am too familiar with the wails of the worried woman warning her wild wanderers of dangers beyond their comprehension. The way life will snuff out their youthful fire.

I am inquirer of why “do not run with scissors” is iron-clad legislature… “can’t I speed-walk with them?”

I am curator of childhood oopsies, three-dimensional un-erasable reminders of the plenty preventative lessons, advice I should have heeded, but proceeded to learn the hard way.

I am—was—too familiar with the cape of pretention, in which a single mother of two

cloaks herself to hide her hardship from her little ones.

I owe my heartbeat to a woman whose heart was beat out of her body.

A woman battered.

Broken.

Bloody.

Becoming brave enough to betray bastards audacious enough to call themselves “men”, the coward’s most commonly used euphemism.

Only to fall victim to the long-term effects of ill-repaired battle wounds. Chemically corroded organs.

Marital wars. Fierce was the fetus that endured what it did.

I was born of violence.

I am Survivor of the Devil’s Deathly Hallows.

I shall be a Symbol of Renewal.

Symbol of Beauty.

Reclaimant of Freedom.

I am legacy.



Written by Devonne