I am overjoyed to have been invited by brilliant Black Feminist Dr. Gloria Joseph to visit her in St. Croix and to commune with the spirit of my chosen ancestor Audre Lorde. I am inviting my whole community to contribute to my dream trip (http://alexispauline.chipin.com/praise-the-lorde-st-croix-dream-trip) and I have committed to write a poem inspired by Audre Lorde's The Marvelous Arithmetics of Distance for each contributor.
It is fitting and humbling that the very first person to contribute to my dream trip to visit Gloria Joseph in St. Croix is a person who started to read Audre Lorde the same time as me, back when we were teenagers looking. Someone who has known my poetry almost as long as I have, and who is also one of my favorite writers.
There is neither the first poem, nor the last poem by Alexis Pauline Gumbs for Elizabeth Rose Anderson. There is a special challenge in writing a poem for someone who for whom my poetry has no novelty anymore. :) So bullshit-free...this is for you WMCR:
After “Echoes” by Audre Lorde
There is a tinge of certainty
it comes from being heard
being known over time
it comes from not having to say
my scream is the same as my silence some days.
The grave is not still
it is choice
it is where our ancestors roll over
to hear a conversation that don’t stop
it is listening beyond escape
it is the decided irrelevance of distance.
So now in the time where future unravels
where promise tattoos
into long-held dreams coming true so fast
we heal doubt kill fear
rebirth those who said our blood was glitter
our truth was optional who said
it was our youth had fooled us into possible
There is a dirt root depth of voice
that comes from saying what
I do not need to say to you
who know and knew
we were always possible
we are proof
we are here
-Alexis Pauline Gumbs (July 26, 2011)