The sound of roosters fills the sun-bleached blue sky. Takes me back to Vieques where the daytime was marked by their singing. Where nighttime was pulled onto the scene with a cacophony of coquises and birds and all sorts of nighttime creatures. She marks my transition here. All things are marked by Vieques. The seas measured by how they compare in beauty to Vieques beaches. I am captivated by her and here. I am awakened by every piece of her, every sound and scent. I am torn open here. Feel all here, am deconstructed here.
I also have had to forget lots here. Suppress transgressions like they never happened, for my own survival. Relive survival over and over again, so much so that I regressed back to victimhood, externalizing all my pain. But she checked that shit right away.
The palm trees glow yellow and white in sunlight. Their palms rustle in the wind, mimic the sound of rain. The wind blows a Piri Thomas cool breeze, light and fresh unlike the heavy thick air charged with moisture and heat. This is refreshing. This is vacationers’ weather. To me it is laundry weather. I try to de-domesticate my tired body, sit in it and feel my hair—white strands catching the light like the palms, white strands that sprouted from tropical stress—fly in the breeze. My hair, half curl, half frizz. My heart, most full, half hurting.
This ain’t a political post. This ain’t a reflection of monumental anniversaries of colonial realities. I shoot for such posts but life needs to be lived and social media only disrupts and intercepts. I can no longer keep up between living and being present and stopping every step of the way to post some shit to prove some shit happened. I no longer care because millennia-worth of humanity lived and thrived without ever having to post it or go live.
This is a reflection of the day to day. This is sore muscles from having to travel two and half hours to work and loneliness from a partner who boarded a plane, two islands over for work. This is coming back with more money than I’m used to, only to still feel unsettled, unresolved. This is being woken up at 4:30am and 5:30am to catch up on loss time with the kids. This is my 6-year-old running between white school uniform polos hanging on the line to dry, to the foot of a palm tree, looking “overboard” to the valley and asking, “Mami is it beautiful here?”
“What do you think?”
“Yes it is.”
“Yeah I think so too, very beautiful.”
This is waking up and stepping out day after day, year after year and still being hit over the head by her beauty. Even having seen her nude and beat down, she grows more beautiful, more resilient, more transcendent as she bends, breaks, blooms in transformation before your eyes.
This is working, hustling, earning and realizing that your own projects still sit stagnant. This is working and creating to envision liberation and justice, year after year, decade after decade, but your own mission sits in the same place, colonialism constricts the throat more than before, and the hurricane sprouted new voices that are seen and heard everywhere. This is giving thanks for more voices but aching over how many of them sound and resound devoid of historical and political context. Most cannot speak the names of their freedom fighting ancestors. Many of them rage and react, devoid of spiritual standing, ungrounded, unhealed. Those who have sacrificed the most, their freedom, their lives, are still ignored and cast aside. Others fight to end violence against women but ignore the sexual exploitation of children and still knock down doors for a seat at the power kept in place by the patriarchy. The masses rally around an arbitrary vote but ignore the indigenous people of North Dakota being locked out of elections.
Colonialism is the hot mess it was crafted to be. Colonialism is rampant not just in the colony but all over the home of the colonizer.
Others still looking to lynch their own.
Liberation like birth is a bloody fucking mess.
We fantasize with self-sufficiency as the practical day to day road to liberation. We are advised to plant and do so quickly as the harvest takes time. We are told to love and to be radical. Too many still waiting on a vote and on God.
Meanwhile God is waiting for us to do what we all said we were coming here to do.
Moca, Puerto Rico,
October 19, 2018