orchard of me

by Yvonne Onakeme Etaghene

there is a field with lavender and tiger lilies.  open sky.  wooden barn full of tools to make precious things, gifts for family: chosen, blood, created.  everywhere is an altar.  candles ignite when my gaze touches them.  poetry is everyone’s first language.  my cat cooks me dinner sometimes.  the sky rains glitter and love notes.  dawn is a good friend.  moon and I play patty cake with ocean waves.  my bathroom floor is a beach.  the door is always open.  my neighbors and I hold hands on our way to the grocery store.  laughter is a given.  before the apology, all is forgiven.  best intentions and deep affections intertwined vines all over this house of mine.  I move with the wind, we prance together, choreograph rapid-fire Congolese dances together—then bake cookies.  we: orchard, field, waking reverie, lovely melody, multi-layered harmony.  fire and I love each other so much we feed each other water when we need it.  in this orchard of redwoods and roses, soft as the inside of my own thoughts, I am tender with myself.  rainbows in my tea cup kiss me good morning and plant sonnets on my lips.  this is home, no need to run from all we ever asked for.  family in my arms, so close they live in my skin/my skin not a division between me and the world/a world within me full of lip-locked love stories and all I love about my own self.  an orchard field of my own me.  a bliss of my own me.  a quiet of my own me.  all the running I’ve done into my own me, running across this orchard into my own arms: home.

(This poem was written during a free write at Sugarcane, a weekly LGBTQ Of Color Writing Workshop I facilitate in Oakland, CA.  The beautiful words “an orchard of you” is lovingly credited to  Sugarcane Writer Aima the Dreamer www.aimathedreamer.com)

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