Body Work

Body Work

Body Work

A Juneteenth Poem by Janel Cloyd

Sometimes we have to sweep the graveyard out of our bodies.

Our beautiful heads are not tombstones inscribed 

with your arrivals and departures. 

Our bodies will not recite prayers for your salvation.

Our bodies will not sing hymns to soothe your wandering spirit.


No longer should we be the temple of someone else’s familiar.

We are not emotional sieves, 

dumping grounds or

bottomless pits of lonely.


We are not your lifeboat 

or landing strip.

Our bodies, 

Our beautiful bodies are for the loving. 

for the caring. 

for the nurturing. 

for the admiring.

for the worshiping. 

Even, if we only do these things for ourselves.

We are more than worth it.


Our bodies, 

Our beautiful bodies

are meant to be strummed.

to be orgasmed.

to be sanctified and deified.


We are Goddesses 

agile, pliable, and malleable.

We are Alchemists 

able to turn any situation

into a loving harmonious opus.


There is music in our thighs.

We glide across concrete city sidewalks.

We leave our music everywhere.

We are womb carriers and life bringers. 

We are powerful beyond measure.


We are able to leap tall buildings 

in a single bound.

Sometimes we have to sweep the graveyards out of our bodies 

before we become the ones 

buried 6 feet deep within ourselves.

Like Them

Like Them

meeting omolu

meeting omolu