this memoir has a secret.
downtown baby(1) downtown a rollercoaster sweet-sweet baby(2)
i’ll never let you go shimmy shimmy(3) coco-puff
milky goddess: babies. love.
hold this infant. tight.
give her wings to replace glob
chant: she still has a purpose
she shall be luna
cataclysmic exit. gone.
libation & shells
watched oshun & yemoya
sew her lungs with feathers. stitch
god in a closed womb.
she is not burnable. trash.
usher her to my altar
sit her there with__ ____ &____
i thought i saw you today in the eyes of a sassy girl with golden hair. i hesitated to look her way. i paused before i saw what i needed to not see. i closed my eyes but you were (t(here)).her mother said to me that she never stares at anyone. that she never seems very captivated with humans in general. i want to tell her mother that i lost you. i want to tell her mother that some people called you a mass of hair & uncollected thoughts. i wanted to tell her that you had a heartbeat & what dead thing has a heartbeat? i thought i saw you today in the eyes of a sassy girl with golden hair. your message so soft i i felt it flutter in my stomach. luna i want to see you in a violin or potpie or tulip. i do not wish to see you in the eyes of babies. eyes like the eyes you had. not. of been
[you want to believe your baby is a goddess that she is hanging above you chatting with the stars. you want to believe she has wings as big as the next goddesses wings, that she can expand her love beyond war & disease & people getting angry about not having their lattes not made just right. you want to/don't want to have faith your dead baby is not an ancestor, that she never died. that she just kinda sorta rose up from your uterus as a whole person. that the lifeless jello was tuckered out from her soldiering humility. that her joy is bouncing around the sea. you want to sing this little light of mine—but you want to sing it to her. you want to rock her in a way that is fitting for a baby goddess. you want to tell people you grew a goddess in your belly, that her stock was priceless, purity & please don’t go but you cannot. you must purse your lips & pretend you are not exhausted at the thoughts that push you around at night. you must tell them you are over the fact that she is over & this is how you got over & you are from the tribe of over the hurt of the rising fucking son. that is to say you are fine. that is to say her hair was fine. that is to say you are centered. that is to say she centered herself in your core. & what happens if your core collapses. that is to say you are a goddess & you begat a goddess & there is no time for crash & burn only fire]
The Project Room is following author and performer Anastacia Tolbert in the making of her upcoming One-Woman show, 9 Ounces. Read more about 9 Ounces here and stay tuned to get tickets to her performance which debuts at TPR in July 2015.
Anastacia Tolbert is a Cave Canem Fellow, Hedgebrook Alumna, Jack Straw Writer, EDGE Professional Writer, VONA alum, creative writing workshop facilitator, documentarian and playwright. She is writer, co-director, and co-producer of GOTBREAST? Documentary (2007): a documentary about the views of women regarding breast and body image. Lately she’s been obsessed with the body & the stories it holds. Her poetry, fiction & nonfiction have been published widely.