Bright New Day

A CyberQuilting Experiment

We Are Ready Now

Archeology of Freedom

(a poem by Alexis Pauline Gumbs, presented in community at the Allied Media Conference

water:
(lex)
1761
chained in a nightmare atlantic
little phillis
survived
meter by meter
dreaming your face

(moya)
2022
poets who write
sci-fi worlds with drinkable water
called reckless dreamers
by thirsty critics
octavia smiles and swims home

(lex)
and everyone in this room
wears something now
that could have easily been ocean

ground:

(nadia)

thrown rocks now sand again
heat skin smooth palms
loving press to
answered prayer

(sydette)
turning over the garden
children find fossils
imprinted with strange and angry eagles
the fashionable break them
into necklaces

(jenny)
heirloom seeds
sprout human names:
purple perennial sydette
toni cade fire breathing cups
sweet falls from audre trees
grace lee roots grow winterdeep

body:
(lex)
the m printed in your left palm
stands for mahalia

stands for malcolm
manjumoyamattmike
mia and mingus
the m in your palm
stands for movement
for me

(kameelah)
at birth
the midwife screams
zeee-ha!
not a gender
just a welcome

(nia)
prison
an obscure word
footnoted in dictionaries
scholars say
it was how the ancients wrote
“we are not yet ready”
on their wrists every morning

air:
(ileana)
a six year old
at the Nadia Abou-Karr community school
hums
live for the people
die for the people
work for the people
love the people
keeping time jumping rope

(bea)
these days
the slang term for love
is “breathing”

(lex)
put both hands on your heart
look at the person next to you
repeat after me
we are ready now
louder
we are ready now
we are ready

for now.

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