Repatriate your body

I am born of many wombs
Born from my mother’s body on a foreign land
From an egg that grew
While she was still in her mother’s womb
Created concurrently
Within the womb of our ancestral homeland

My own body cracked

2014YasminHernandezArtBlackGoldweb
“Black Gold of the Sun” 2014, Self Portrait after first homebirth

Exploded in pressure and pain
Into a pool of its own blood
To force my own babies
From its womb
Their moist bodies
Violently squeezed from me
Entered this sphere
Like meteors combusting
Like fire spewing from volcanos
Birthing this chain of islands
Our ancestors and we were to inhabit

They arrived screaming

Aware of its own nakedness
My broken body knew
To hold theirs
Tiny but whole
To its own warm skin

Like the cracked
Deconstructed husk of a seed
This contact of life and light
Sent me spouting green
Like rebel, resilient leaves
Pushing past
Brown barren branches
Of torn trees
After hurricane winds had lifted

Green like this lush tropical land
My body was the island home
Within which my babies rolled
Floating in salted life water
Like the turquoise seas that bathe her

My broken body colonized
Was the space of incubation
In which I myself
Had to craft and manifest their liberation
Through it I could envision doing the same for myself

We steal rhetoric from recordings and books
Struggle for similar things in the same ways others did
Adopt struggles ours and not ours
From spaces we inhabit or wish to inhabit
While neglecting the authentic homes of our own bodies

We bear witness to colonial violence
Protest its prevalence
Ignore the hurt in our hearts
Mirroring outside global violence instead
In our own and in others’ beds
Preying on pleasure
Hoping the hurt will scab and scar
Instead we carve wounds deeper into our skin
and into the skin of lovers
Whose bodies become battlegrounds to fight our own brokenness

The love of homeland
is born of our own bodies
Moving metaphor of hills and valleys,
Of forests and caverns
Of springs and wells
Whose environmental justice
is intrinsically interwoven with our own health
We throw around words like revolutionary, like love
Claiming to save some land or someone
While we walk around broken and messed up

Let us all repatriate
Board a boat or plane, land again
Plant flags on our own selves
Set roots down deep into the landscapes of our own bodies
Each an island of infinite wisdom

Repatriate that place you’ve left
That you’ve hovered above and observed from afar
Like an accident victim on life support
Determining whether it’s time to leave or return to their body
Stop your non-committal vacation visits to the homeland
When all you intend
is to leave again, float outside yourself
Repatriate you own bodyland
The site, the source of all you need to know
Before you claim to help, to save, to decolonize anything
Repatriate, decolonize yourself first

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