Deep drumming is heard from di street; folks turn their head backwards. The Kushites Returned leap, sweep down the aisles, silk cloth flies in the air gleaming with silver threads, the painted dancers burst through di darkness….the dancers had been in the aisles doing modern black Amerikan contractions and slides and swivels and things, and now they were all ancient en Afrikan…it’s so magic folks feel their own ancestors comin up out of di earth to be in di realms of their descendants; they feel di blood of their mothers still flowing in them, survivors of di diaspora…en all of Afrika is thundering in di air.
The audience doesn’t exist; everybody is moving, all is not lost. Cypress laughed as she samba’d to di exit….
Sassafrass wanted to know everyone, but everyone was dancing so hard, until Ariel arrived in a white satin robe en a silver and lapis headpiece. Then something holy and quiet started happening, and folks began talking to each other….and Sassafrass wandered in Cypress’ world….
It was day. It was time to dance, no matter what…
Braided lady of subway scents & magic
Rings in nose & wrists/music in di style of di islands
Lacin di trains dancing in di tunnels of hades
Ka-jungle-jingle-ka jungle juju
In damp downtown nites of love/di secrets of muscles used
Lights cajoling the tense spring of calves jumpin/space
Taken by di rippling womanness of yr back/
Do as you please/afrikan lady roaming los campos
Of di lower east side/caresses you with fried plantains
& drummers stealing corners for di winds to lift you
To di sun’s scant ray/lyric lady/dance di original dance
The original aboriginal dance of all time/challenge di contradiction of perfected pirouette with di sly knowin of hips that do-right/stretch till all di stars en sands of all our lands abandoned/mingle in di wet heat/sweat & grow warm/must be she di original aboriginal dancing gyal….
Someone found her. Another woman in a red tunic took her to an official place inside di grey world, where she was introduced as a survivor. Di leader, di queen, di reigning glory of dis community was a tall woman with red hair who welcomed Cypress and kept saying she would be safe…
Drums, drums. Drums, welcoming di faithful. Pulling them to move to dance. Shango conquered di forests. All human challengers. When Sassafrass hit di door, di smells overcame her. Incense, smoke, whiskey, rice&beans, lamb curry, honey…one by one di followers went to Shango’s mountain of apples to pray & reveal their most secret desires.
When Sassafrass lay flat on her stomach before Shango’s bounty, di seven holy ones laid hands on her. Sassafrass was blessed. She’d risen off di floor…she prayed that she might have a child. You leave your palms open that di gifts of di goddesses might have a place in your life….she prayed. She wove cloth, not thinking who it was for. She’d fallen from grace.
Mama Mbewe, Mama Sumara, Mama Iyabode passed chickens over her all nite. In the morning, she saw a vision of her mama. She lay on a bed of oranges, surrounded by burnin yellow candles, eating honey.
“I think I’m going to carry these spirits right on home. I guess I live in looms after all. Making tings: some cloth and one child, jus’ one.” [or a couple mo’…]
hadithi reposted na overflowin upendo from a kitabu called Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo