Reading: Well Who All Gon Be There?

“Well, Who All Gon Be There.” In this
lifetime, the cultural spell transcribed into my skin is MUST ALWAYS BE DOING and
it’s hard to fight the compulsion. Hard to work any magic that ain’t matchsticks,
duct tape, and hot gluing lost soul pieces I have done so much and there’s always so
much to be done I done set up my ancestor altar. I done years of work. I done cried on my knees before them my Exalted Queer Ancestors
who lived well, died well, crossed over and returned with resolved energy. I done begged them to forgive me for all I don’t know and all I ain’t done. I done shown them
that I was born exactly what they prayed for, born to be the magic of this time
but that this time hates magic. I am black and trans non-binary. They sent me
the feeling of no shapes inside them for words they never heard while living, so I
gave them the feeling of blackness transnessqueerness. They sent me knowing, seeing, acknowledgement. Then I gave them the texture of the prisons. What is white,
what is cis, what is hetero. The precise weight in my chest of being
fucked by willfully closed eyes in the dark and being disposed of once they
opened in daylight. A sweet meadow on fire smell laced the air in front of my
ancestor altar. The wet side of the gravestone and the metal of blood hit my
tongue, cold unrolled in my solar plexus, and bloomed ice prickly underneath my
skin. They were outraged and their horror was validating. Proof that I called
strongly to them. Proof that through time, through wounds, and through healing they
were calling me right back. *sighing heavily* OK, they Queer so its gon be like sequins and jewels.” I
thought as I prepared to meet them. I pictured my exalted queer ancestors
greeting me, draped in pearls, covered and sacred oils and magic paint. Wode, salt, and the viscera of sworn enemies, mixed into a scrub would
cover their hands that they might slough off cracked and peeling oppression for
my skin. I visioned them lifting me up, shaking laurels over me, and throwing me
into a vat of purple dye and rosebuds just as show me that I’m royal That they
were loving *flubs word* me dress me lovingly dressed me in soft furs and the
many panels of garments touched by fingertips-in-prayer to make them.
Perhaps a huge fantasy novelesque feast with ever flowing amphorae of spirit wine. We could dance and talk into the night. Would they recognize me even
though I was dressed plainly? Was it okay that I didn’t brush *cracking into a sob* my hair and had no flowers? Did I write
enough journals? Did I pull enough Tarot? did I read enough Audre Lorde? Will I be
clear enough? Doubt and the distinct feeling of inadequacy plagued my
preparations, but I pushed forward. They asked me to come. What is white, what is
cis, what is hetero squeezed-pinned my arms against my sides and closed itself
around my heart. No. I needed to see them and they wanted to see me. But fear edged
my periphery. Would they hold me if within their golden spell inscribed
palace, I interrupted the delicate heart laid in purity of the herbal smoke
filled air with a nightmare scream of a queer black born in this lifetime? What
if all I did when I got there was scream that scream? Would any part of me resonate?
I pulled a grey blanket over myself and curled up from the coarse carpet. “Tell me
what I need to be doing”, I said to all of them, waiting for sleep to come. My
younger sister, the most exalted queer ancestor
I have a name for came first. I’d never seen Lila so serious but her afterlife role
is critical. She is the bridge between the older ones
and I. Concentration and clarity denied to her in life by the system of poverty,
highlighted her cheeks and brow. She laid with me as she used to when we were
children, facing me and forgetting to take off her glasses. Her gaze lingered
on me, unblinking and I knew this time keeping the glasses on was intentional.
She exaggerated placing her face on her closed hands like a sleepy cartoon
character, and closed her eyes as if to say “Copy me.” Her honeycomb textured hair
was tied back in a ponytail and bore the pink flowers I’d selected for her
burial. I felt grateful and relieved that she liked the choice that much. It
distracted me momentarily from the long, moonlight colored, twiggy fingers that
reached out and caressed my scalp lovingly before I slipped together with them into
a traveler’s sleep. We. I’m un-alone now but also like that from before the start. I
was all of it, nutrients and communication flowing to me in a way
that I didn’t know from a Parent. No dream in a dream. Rest.
It wasn’t a word, it was a pure existence in the black, loving, pressure.
I recognize that I’m familiar to it and while we’d, never met it has always
existed in me. Wet and solid, warm and still cold. We needed one another and we
were one another. Unmoving but also moving. Rest. Rest and other needs met
were flowing through me then I was awake. I rolled up from my side in my fleece-lined
hoodie dress on a chilled, green, pasture. Fog rolled over a weathered, rain
darkened, wooden fence and a matching wooden shack that was placed just so, not
far away. Sheep were floofing around and about me and my last glimpse of the Queer Place was blocked by a massive sheep face screaming with sheeply indigence “What
are you doing here?” I briefly wondered what ancestor it was and then I was gone.
I woke up again in front of the altar, at first only remembering the sheep. Slow recall let the door open for narrative from a cursed place. “Was I so unworthy
that they just left me outside the whole night” Shame was swallowed by confusion
and then overtaken by curiosity. I felt new and new again. So different that it
took me a while of crawling on the altar room floor to collect myself. I’d
been completely permeated, every single molecule, doused with a foreign ease.
Alhamdulillah, ease, That was when I remembered reading about land. The land
will pull you through it and give you power. That concept finally took root in
experience. Even “Feel the earth holding you up” the cloying, stolen advice from
white women teaching classes on moving and breathing in flow with whiteness
now made some fucking sense. The land had held me in it and then up in a way that
no territory ever has. It passed unknown and incomprehensible elements and
minerals into me, made me laugh, and sent me home. My exalted queer ancestors
covered me in their wealth. which is their land, and now I know what has been
for ever mine and that to which I forever belong. Inside this land, I did
nothing but exist and my existence was enough. I originated from a place that
many have never been, yet is alive in my starts and stoppings. Uncolonizable, my
nation is a place that can only be touched through the fluid of dreams and
is stewarded over by ancient queers. I am the very fabric of that terrain and so I
walk always adorned and bright within it. That holy space, forever untouchable by
the pantheon of capitalism, patriarchy, narcissism, and
whiteness. HHere in this world where those gods reign supreme, my land has made me
agile. I will dance through the legs of these giant false idols with this land
well-tended inside me. They will gag, they will fall to their knees, and these
walking images, with no hint of divinity behind them will return to the Justice
of the earth and the judgment of Allah. And I really don’t have to keep doing so
much. Thank you.

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