“…for by this weapon this illusion of some safety to be found the heavy-footed hoped to silence us For all of us this instant and this triumph We were never meant to survive.” -Audre Lorde
I dip my toes into some of the clearest blue waters I have ever encountered.
I look down and see the outline, the shadow of a woman.
I am safe here, yet I am haunted by the rough hands of police officers and a mugshot that is a death shot. Not even the final moment, but an image of life long exited from her body.
I am safe here. Yet what is safety?
I dive into the clear blue water, eyes stinging from the rush of salt water, body rocking with the waves of the sea.
And the sky is cloudless. It is not marred by a single cloud. Its expanse is as far reaching as I could ever imagine.
I am safe here, yet I am haunted. I hear the echo of voices spitting out that SHE DESERVED TO DIE. That her arrogance ended her life. Nothing more. Nothing else.
As a black woman, there is arrogance in being alive. Arrogance in owning your body, making your own spaces. Being too fly while sharpening your oyster knife to mind the shadows lurking up behind you to take it all away in a single moment.
I am safe here, yet I am haunted. I sit down on slippery rocks while the waves crash over my head. I close my eyes and recite Lorde from memory. call me roach and presumptuous/nightmare on your white pillow”
Say her name.
She should haunt you too.