Before You Close Your Eyes Tonight: a love letter to Black and Brown Peoples

( Screen capture from #HeavenlyBrownBody, Starring Tas Al-Ghul ,Jade Phoenix Martinez and myself, Dir: Leslie Foster DP: Avery Holliday, MUAH: Allia Arite/Vyvy Tran, Costuming: Rae Esterlina with assists by Tas Al-Ghul and myself.)

Dearly Beloved,

Before you close your eyes tonight remember that you are magnificence whether you are in motion or not

you are not outside of your sanity

you are most definitely under attack from within and without and while there is medicine in this shadow there is also horror in knowing which way the wind blows

I am so sorry

I am sorry for those of us who must continue to do the work in these exhausted states

I am sorry for those of us who can not continue to do the work and are drowning in the guilt or shame of the relief of being sidelined

I am sorry it is so hard to practice what we often preach
to bring water to the parched lips of others that is so hard to swallow for ourselves

I wish us
to give us
the grace we so freely give to others

you are not a phony or a fake or less than if you are depressed, stressed and assaulted by anxiety

you are not a hypocrite for crawling into, caving into coping methods that are giving you the comfort you so desperately deserve and crave

you are not a hypocrite for attempting to create space or a buffer to buffer your shocked system
we are constantly grieving and we need space for that

space to not take in everything that is around us
space so we can get footing
and lets be real
Dearly Beloved,
we are trying to get footing on quickly moving and sinking sand

we are trying to do something that seems like the impossible

but remember,

we are waking miracles descended from the first peoples, the magical peoples, those that survived genocides, middle passages and trails of tears

depression and anxiety has us out here still doing great feats by simply living while simultaneously having us lose sight of who we are

it will make you forget that you are magnificence whether you are in motion or not

it will make you forget that you are GODDEXX moving across this earth

You literally are god and oh so beautifully human

contrary to the first story I was handed like so many Black & Brown AFAB’s were handed

You are not to die on the cross

You are not to sacrifice Your sacred Self like a lamb for others

Here is my prayer, my dream, my demand for Us

We’re going to take rest
We’re going to allow ourselves to be totally bent
to be messy
to cry
to be fucked up
to be imperfect

We’re going to fully mourn Our dead
We’re going to remember Their names and keep places for Them at our tables

And we’re going to keep going

We’re going to keep being molded in this fire We are moving though because there will come a break

there will come break or We will fucking make one

We’re going to live

We will survive this with Our souls intact because once this is over We are still going to be on the front lines

whatever thing(s) invested in seeing this world double dicked into darkness
whatever thing(s) increasing it’s efforts to destroy You is officially put on fucking notice

instead of catching Us, it’s gonna catch these hands

but for now rest
rest as much as and when You can
give Your Self as much space and comfort as You can

for when We wake Heaven & Hell is coming with Us and through Us

Dearly Beloved

Sacred Sol

You are magnificence even when you are not in motion
Thou art the Sun the Next World will rotate around

I miss you
I love you
I love us

PERIODT

Prayer for the Caretakers

Empaths | Caretakes | Therapists | Social Workers,

You are a lighthouse in a storm
people are being drawn to you.

It is so important that you take care of yourself right now.
It is so important that you meditate, scream, cry, shake as much as possible.

Take baths
Punch pillows
Dance into a frenzy
Sleep
Hydrate
Eat

Be consciously aware that you are holding not just your own feelings but the ambient dross of all around you.

Paranoia of the selfish entitled horders
The real fears of people who can not financially support themselves through these shutdowns
The panic of misrepresented numbers
The dread of those in isolation

You are being expected to function and provide support to people while you yourself maybe dealing with your own crisis.

While you your self may be triggered by all these other people being triggered.

I am so sorry
To every store clerks, government worker, teacher, mental health care worker, sex worker, nurse, doctor

I am so sorry that you are expected to keep so calm, so level headed, so “professional” while this spins around you.

I see you
I see your humanity

This is my prayer for you✨

May you be so fucking blessed
So tightly held
So deeply loved and supported

May some deep magic move around you to shield you mentally and physically from the onslaught

May you be seen and treasured by all who come into contact with you

When you lay down may you sleep peacefully

When you walk this world may it be with ease

May your showers and baths cleanse more than your body

May your spirit be fed and nourished

You are a lighthouse in the storm
You are a candle in the dark
May you find moments of hope and joy
May you have peace
May you not burn out

#healingincrisis
#empaths
#prayerforthecaretakers

StoryTime: Queer Fat Black Kinky Sex Saved My Life

My sexual preference used to be anyone who would fuck me.

This is all hindsight btw. Like 2020 is definitely turning into the year of hindsight and clarity around patterns that were/are wrecking me. But yeah, my sexual preference used to be anyone who would fuck me until that one time in that one place where three queer, fat, Black, kinksters fisted the white jesus out of me.

I was in the San Jose Double Tree lobby at a yearly kink event with one of my closets friends. We were so excited. It was a kinky “Disneyland” there were classes, events, parties, dungeon space and a contest we were not even going to pretend to sit through. We came to play.

At least I said I came to play.

In all honesty I was too anxious to put myself out there. I was stripping on stages across the country but I didn’t believe that I was actually attractive so while I told everyone else I came to play I really came to watch, get high and cry myself to sleep at night listening to Toni Braxton on my headphones while my roomie fucks who ever they picked up from the crowd.

So while pretending that I came to play I mentioned to her that I had never been fisted.

The look of abject horror and “Da Fuck You Mean?!?!” that crossed this woman’s face when I said that had me choking on my own spit.

“You’ve never been fisted!” She asked so loudly that her voice skipped across the marble floors of the double tree like a stone across water. It was a siren song and drew in two other Black Queers who magically appeared from fucking no where.

Queer #1 : Who has never been fisted?
BFF: This bitch (points at me)
Queer #2: Like how tho? How is that possible?
Me: (sinks into seat)
BFF: Right!
Queer #1: Nah this has to be fixed.
Queer #2: Yeah. Let’s help you out! Let’s take care of you!

I’m pretty sure that I sort of passed out due to mortification at that point.

I’m not easily embarrassed.

I’ve purposely done foolish shit just to see what it felt like but this was different. This wasn’t standing in front of a crowd doing a line of powdered sugar off of my left tit to Micheal Bubble’s cover of “Let It Snow” level shenanigans. This was deeper. This made my heart race. The rest of the day is fuzzy in my memory. I mean I know things happened but I could not focus on any of it. I know they gave me a time, a place and instructions.

Later that night go to the dungeon, find a sling near an electrical socket, wait.

So I did.

I waited. On my knees I waited and watched as that time passed and continue to pass. All of a sudden I was 17 and stood up for a dance, I was waiting against the wall for her to notice me, I was 11 and nobody wanted me for their volleyball team, I was eight and these fuckers never called “red rover, red rover, send Irene over”.

I could feel the tears coming behind my eyes a fist squeezing my heart and lungs closed and just when I was about to go fuck it they appeared.

Fat black bodies, big gorgeous smiles, their hair coiled like mine, lips just as full and soft and inviting, they moved like joy, looked like heaven and for a moment I froze before the absolute glory of them.

They pulled me up
Stripped me of my clothing with an easy casualness while somehow still treating me as if I was some sort of gift they were receiving. Something precious and worthy. Like I was precious and worthy and this was everyday common ass knowledge.

They rubbed me down with coconut oil
Touching each part of me, their warm hands making me glow and shine which was a blessing because I was ashy as fuck. Like my level of ash was an embarrassment unto my entire lineage. I was a fire hazard and not nar one of them mentioned it as they tended me.

They beat my chest with their fists
They beat my back with their palms, a knocking, a welcoming home and every time their hands landed I was called back into my own flesh. It felt so good to be there that I didn’t believe it to be true. In the spaces between impact I flew from my body always being summoned back over and over again until my soul surrendered to my flesh.

They laid me back into the sling
They slipped my feet into the holsters
They started.

I’m spread wide
Suspended
Surrounded
Safe

Actually safe and I was about to be fed

This. Was. Terrifying.

As a fat, black, queer, afab human being the mainstream had me believing that my options were severely limited.
Scarcity had me out here fucking trash and being grateful.
Fear had me out here engaging in mediocre mostly hetero sex because I didn’t consider my own desires
Disbelief in my basic humanity had me giving Faberge eggs (what I call my absolute beast of a head game) to assholes.

I didn’t even know I had a problem until I was educated otherwise.
I was about to be educated otherwise

While they are working me over and working into me I am, internally, an absolute mess.

What if?

What if I am broken? What if all the sex has been bad because I am broken? What if I feel something? What if it feels good and I won’t ever be able to feel that again? Am I supposed to squirt? Can I even squirt? I think I have to pee. Wait isn’t that what squirting is supposed to feel like? What if it is just pee? I have to squirt or else they wont know they are doing well. OMFG what a hetero-normative thought! Ew Ew EW EW. I rebuke theeeeeeee!

I’m clenching and gasping and squirming away and one of them braces me. Places themself between the wall and the sling so I can’t strain away.

“Don’t you back up off this fist! Don’t you back up off this fist brah!” They say like a team captain or personal trainer or enthusiastic artistic manager. I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time. Nothing made sense. My body was trying so hard to turn itself off, reject this until I heard her voice.

“Shhh,” She said from between my legs “It’s okay” and she began to sing. Her voice rising above the vibrations of the Hitachi humming against my clit.

Let it go
Let it go
Don’t hold it back any more
Let it go
Let it go

I mean?

I could not with this foolishness! I began to laugh. That full body laugh that makes you convulse and clench and open and clench and open and I opened…

like a cathedral singing new and holy songs.

Years later I’m laughing with this gorgeous woman. She is fat like me. She is black like me. I’m laughing because people used to say we were dating and since this was before I knew everyone didn’t feel about girls the way I felt about girls so I denied it.

I denied it
We denied it and yet here we are with my face in her pussy
And me going

It’s okay
You get to have this
Let me drink you in
Let me give you this pleasure
Let me take care of you.

They gave me a knowing that night
They
Black with bodies abundant as all the silken river beds
Smelling of coconut oil and leather
They who beat new rhythms into my heart with four fists
One Hitachi
One wrist
Deep
They who knocked at the tabernacle door until I opened like a cathedral singing new and holy songs
They gave me a knowing

I am so fucking worthy. I am beautiful in all of my humanity. My Queer Fat Black body is precious. I am precious. I get to be touched like I am temple, pages to be turned and read, caressed and memorized like sacred scripture in a holy book. I get to be treated in these same ways outside of sex too. I get to demand for myself what I willing give to so many other people.

This knowing goes beyond the bedroom.

Over the years its dissolved into my flesh and bones it began to change how I interacted with the greater world around me and myself. It made life difficult, it made me uncomfortable it had me eventually unable to sexually/ emotionally engage with fuck shit so I tried desperately to forget this knowing.

I fall asleep
I wake up
I fall asleep
I wake up
I fall asleep

I’ve come to realize over that years that I can never unknow it. I submit to it.

It is as beautifully undeniable as I am.
As beautifully undeniable as you are are too.

You are fucking worthy

You are beautiful in all of your humanity

Your Queer Trans Fat Black Brown body is precious

You are precious

You get to be touched like you are temple, pages to be turned and read, caressed and memorized like sacred scripture in a holy book

You get to be treated in these same ways outside of sex too

You get to demand for yourself what you willing give to so many other people

May it always and forever be so.

For your breaking heart

BTS photo by Tina June Photography for Leslie Foster’s experimental film “Heavenly Brown Body” based off of “Litanies to My Heavenly Brown Body” by Mark Aguhar MUA Allia Arite and Vyvy T.

Dearly Beloved,

The Kindred Black and Brown, Blessed Trans & Sacred Queers

I am sorry for your breaking hearts

Our breaking hearts

My breaking heart

I am sorry that we continue to witness those who say they are allied to us give in to their privilege repeatedly

that you are watching them say things like this is the last one or I’m going for “community” not to support the event

that they are telling themselves that they are going to protect YOU!

that they mistook a walk out, a leaving, a pulling up of roots, a divestment as some simple boycott

I’m sorry they act like this is one small thing when it is symptomatic of the greater diseases:white supremacy and transphobia

that your pain is treated as an inconvenience even unto your own people

They can’t see how this is greater than a weekend, an event, a single moment in time.

Here is my prayer for you
for us
for me in this New Year

May our aching fingers finally ease from the grip of continuing to hold on to skin folk who ain’t kinfolk, from false allies who speak love but remain “conflicted”

May we let go of the responsibility of mending and protecting those who will neither mend nor protect us

May they in all their excuses be revealed like torch bearers on a Charlottesville night

May our palms open so these people can flow from them

So that our empty hands can be filled instead with all the blessings this melanated, binary gender refuting and queer as fuck Universe has to offer us

May your heart be soothed by the centering of your sacred self

Dearly Beloved

Those without the privilege of choice

without the illusion of isolated events

Those unyielding
unwilling to love something that does not love them back

You do not nor have you ever asked for too much

You are so deserving of the birthright of your own humanity

May you have it

Every ounce of it

May you never hunger for it

May you never thirst

“I Love Myself More Than I Love This Shit” 2019 Black & Brown Queer/ Trans Pantheacon Walkout & Divestment

*Audio of my words captured by Meredith Simon. Meredith I am beyond grateful for this gift.

*Rallying call of “I love myself more than I love this shit” crafted with the incomparable Beverley Smith. This phrase has become a central guiding force in my life. Thank you for your wisdom.

*Procession lead by Xochiquetzal Duti Odinsdottir. Xochi your willingness to bare your teeth, grasp the staff and part the waters allowed me to pull up the roots and sweep up the last of our wake without concern. Thank you for holding the line.

*The final chants led by Jacki Chuculate know that I am so grateful for you finishing this work with reminders that it is larger than this bubble. That this is all part of a whole. Thank you for lending your energy when I had none left. For sealing this action and focusing us on what we do next.

Storytime: I once broke up with a guy over a sandwich

I’m a #Virgo so this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone but I once broke up with a guy over a sandwich.

This may sound extra to anyone other than a Taurus but I was wholly justified.

It was a bad day.

I was busy packing my bags for a trip I did not want to take when this guy calls me and says he’d like to come over.

Knowing that “coming over” translates directly into “I’d like to fuck” I told him I was busy and sex wasn’t going to happen.

He assured me that his intentions were non carnal in nature. “Oh no! I just haven’t seen you in a while and I thought it would be nice to visit.”

This was during a time when I was giving all sorts of people the benefit of the doubt.

I said come through.

He arrives later than he said he would and asks for a glass of water. That’s when I see the sandwich in his hand. Strike 1

Did you stop on your way over and get something to eat? I ask, with a loose grip on my pearls

Yeah! He responds with a smile. Strike 2

Oh. I say in Black.

He doesn’t catch the hint. Strike 3 Instead he starts walking towards my room to eat his sandwich while I went to get the glass of water.

Strike 4 I was busy! How you gonna come to my house and ask me to serve you? You know where the fucking kitchen lives.

I hand him the water and kick him out of my room by saying there’s no eating in my room.

I didn’t matter that two nights before we were in there sucking the marrow off of chicken bones. I was fucklessly lying. He showed up at my house with one sandwich.

For himself!!!

I should have kicked him out then but I was hyper focused on packing and still deeply steeped in social niceties that I told myself I would give him the boot when he finished eating his goddamn sandwich.

I would like to say that I did that but I fucked him instead.

I was making bad decisions for my pussy back then. That’s why my labia locked up on me for about two years. I totally deserved it when it started going full Gandalf all

I was making some questionable choices and this was one of them.

He cried after.

This was terribly inconvenient as I was busy. But here I was doing aftercare and getting big mad because I fucked this crystal deodorant wearing white boy and his armpit stench was slowly sinking into my pillows.

I added laundry to my tight schedule.

I’m just going stop right here for a moment. I need to stop and apologize right now.

Dear Pussy,

There is a word in Japanese. It goes beyond excuse me, it goes beyond I’m sorry. It is used to express great shame. That word is Gomenasai.

It means: I’m sorry for this unexcusable ass shit I caused.

Sweet pussy of mine, gomenasai. I should not have let that single sandwich bringing, non sharing, crystal wearing motherfucker in you my pussy.

That was rude.

Once he stops crying he has another glass of water and leaves.

I go to sleep annoyed but the next day I wake up mad as fuck with pillows still smelling like hacky sacks.

When get back from my trip he calls me trying to come over to “catch up” aka trying to fuck.

Me: No.
Him: Is everything okay?
Me: No.
Him: (engage maximum Bay Area I’m listening and open to discourse mode) What’s up?
Me:You didn’t share your sandwich.
Him:(shooketh) I didn’t know you wanted a sandwich. You didn’t tell me you wanted one.

Me: (deflect low-level deffered blame volley)How you going to show up at somebody’s house, who you ain’t even supposed to be at in the first place, who is busy and stop and get a motherfuking sandwich and don’t pick one up for the person you want to smash. That tells me who you are right there.

I still let you hit it though and that tells me who I am. I made that decision. And I regret it. But you know that’s what happens when you don’t love yourself.

Him:(applies white boy teflon trick, nothing is absorbed) I never had it like you. I never had to learn how to share. I didn’t have any family growing up so I never learned to share cuz I was an only child. It was just me as an only child.

Me: ( falls for it even though my soul is saying um fucking kindergarten bitch) Well that makes sense kind of I guess…

Him: (waxes poetic on lonesome childhood allowing time for my incredulous mana bar to return to full health. )

Me:( wait doesn’t he have a whole fine ass Blackwoman at home? this ain’t a new concept) Nope! That doesn’t work for me. Actually the sandwich was just like the tip of the iceberg!

I then went “IN”

About a month ago. Less than 45 minutes after being inside of me. He asked me to walk him to the West Oakland BART because he felt unsafe.

Colonization and internalized racism had me out there escorting this casually microaggressive man the two fully lit blocks on a main road to BART.

I told him how fucked up this was and why.

This boy said, “Well you seem to feel safe in your neighborhood so 🤷”

I popped off.

My neighbor isn’t dangerous.

It’s Black & Brown and if it did happen to be dangerous I am more vunerable in it or any neighborhood than he was! Even if you removed the racism from this shit (which you can’t) what’s left is him feeling real danger and not giving a fuck about exposing me to that danger.

I told him we were done. Because I can’t trust him to have my six. He’s not willing to protect me or fight with or for me.

I later received a wounded missive about how he has thought about it and this is an “opportunity” for me to learn how to not be bound by traditional gender roles. According to him I was limiting the both of us in expression by being so expectant and insensitive. He has been mugged before. I was forcing masculine tropes on him and that was triggering.

I laughed so hard that I had to summon my entire soul back into my body.

I’ve been mugged too. I (ill-advisedly) angrily mouthed off with a gun pressed against my back while my boyfriend nearly pissed himself. I informed him that I don’t give a fuck about traditional gender roles. If we fucking we fighting.

That moment crystalized an intimacy standard for me.

If I’m fucking you or fucking with you I’ll fight besides you. I’ll be part of your safety and I demand that you be part of mine.

This is non-negotiable.

Only one exception to this rule.

If/When I fuck up. Then tell me and if I refuse to hear or learn let me eat the entire pavement and clown me.

I didn’t hear from him for quite some time.

It was over a year when I ran into him at a public event. He sent me a message of apology later that week stating how he reflected and grew over that time and wanted to reconnect.

But I knew that fine ass BlackWoman had juuuuuust left him and he had sent courting messages to two other fine ass fat BlackWomen who were also at the event.

So Nah.

So Yeah, I broke up with a bitch over a “sandwich”

and because mammy is dead

and I hope in 2020 you do too.

Stories

Stories📖

I surround myself with them
I’m obsessed with them
I’m a collector of them
I’m a collection of them

I am my mother’s story and her mother’s story before her and her mother’s story before her. I’m filled with the treasures and the traps of all these elevated and exiled Ancestors in one hand and me in the other.

I tried carrying both over a minefield because I’m acutely aware of the sacrifices that have gone into the making of me.

I tried to carry both and the attempt was breaking me so I had to choose

I worried that my Ancestors were disappointed with me or disgusted by me because I chose to let go of their narratives. The ones that made me alien in my own sovereign body.

But as I staged and staggered through my own (R)evolution I realized that they were handed their stories by a cis het white dominated patriarchy just like me.

In centering myself and my people in my narratives I am salvaging pages that have been violently erroded by oppression and manipulation.

I am a new story in the library of us.
One that gets to get told.
Black now in TECHNICOLOR!

And my Ancestors?

They are so active, so understanding, so proud and so loud. Eeeeeee and so nosey! It’s embarrassing that I have to ask them to step away from the bed when I bring my partner into it.

They love me.

They love me not in spite of but because.

Because I’m the Queer Fat Black Non Binary Femme Witch story some of them didn’t get to live.

📸 By @tristancrane photography for the Here Portraits Project https://www.tristancrane.com/blog/tag/here-portraits/

Solstice Prayer

Normally I share the story of the Goddess of Joy on this day but not this time.

This season has been so fucking hard and that’s my own fault. I made an ask to the God of Death when the veil was thin and He drank of the holy offering and delivered.

When I asked for freedom from scarcity I thought it was a clever way of gaining money and security that money can offer. I was quickly shown where the real scarcity came from and put in a process of healing and mending that meant that several things had to go.

It drove me through grief and into numbness. I’m moving in the flow of it now. I’m not fighting it anymore. I’m letting it wash over me. Screaming into the cold darkness is actually a comfort.

I’m having dramatic ugly cries.

I beat my chest and pull at my hair and I curse and I dry heave. Each layer ripped back reveals a part of me that has been lost for so long so I’m facing it.

Letting my tears become a black mirror so I can catch all these peices of me.

I’m in the middle of this journey right now on this long night. I hold my past stories written for me in on hand and my past stories rewritten by me in the other.

Tonight I commit what is not mine into the fire of transformation.

I look forward to the rest of this dark season and the rest it has mandated. I yeild to the necessity of it.

I need all I can get
So I can be ready for what rises with the Sun.

May you have all you need in these dark days

May you rest well

And awake renewed

Solstice Prayer

Written for the Living Tarot 2018 “The Sun”

Child
Oh beauteous child
Beauteous child of the unKnown universe

Mourn not for things you lost in the nebulous night
for rended hearts,
cracked promises
knocked over dreams spilling into oblivions of gloom

Mourn not for things Dark Mother has stripped from you
It has burned to ash in the dawning of this glorious day

You were never meant to navigate upon someone else’s trajectory

You were meant to pull planets of your own design into an orbit composed and conducted by the fire of your beating heart,
the flame of your eternal spirit
the devouring incandescence of your sex

This is a requiem for the stygian fray
a summoning for the dawning day

This is a requiem for the trials and vexations
a summoning for the harbingers of creation

This is a requiem for the ill gotten stories that turned your mirrored soul to smoke screen
a summoning for the deliciously indecent decadent innocence of your true self seen

Oh beauteous child of the unknown universe
night will fall again

And I promise you
That you
Like the sun
Shall rise
rise
rise
And all that stands in your way
Shall burn before your gaze

Awaken
Remember that you are the sun
Now rise and fucking shine