A response to Dynamite by Jenn Freeman
choreographed, conceptualized and performed by Jenn Freeman
Links Hall Co-MISSION residency encore performance, August 12-14, 2017
image: Omni Owl Productions
after Jenn Freeman
i want to write about a baptism
that hasn’t happened or will happen
when i learn darkness is a eulogy for the aftershock
of catching the holy ghost. only once
have i had chrysanthemum petals shake
loose from the grit of my spine,
unveiling locusts eating the sins
that keep me here.
how water might be predator,
a matador whose muleta is versed in the psalms
of drowning its prize, to coax a sinner
to believe in his own killing.
we don’t know sacrifice
until we die for other’s sins.
when the pastor said
has anymore lost their mother,
i wanted to raise my hand
because i don’t know if i’m her son anymore.
the way i walk to salvation – glitter-strewn
& ready to take on the apocalypse –
isn’t the commandments i should follow
in my mother’s worship.
i can only be a man, a black man
if i can genesis the universe i want to die in-
to prove heaven & eternity
are the blackest possessions god could conceive.
when i dance, it’s high praise-
o if i could ever be angel, a cloudstorm
of wings. it’s sweat that sheathes
the body a light. a witness to a body
that stows dynamite where the heart should be.
if detonated, who knows what’ll come
barreling forth naked & enkindled with galaxies-
a burning, too, be baptismal,
be saving grace.
as i spiral myself down to ashes, this hymn,
i still bow in ecstasy & glory.
i raise my hand.
i raise my hand anyway.
J’Sun Howard is a Guest Editor for PRJ.