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 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 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.