Rainbow in the sky, Love on the Rocks


by Maya S. Zeigler

Love.

Love like you can see it feel it

can’t have it or hold it.

Like when the ocean Loves the shores,

washes away pieces of rock

until they’re unrecognizable.

Love like you still exist,

can still feel, stand solid and beautiful,

rubbed painful and raw.

 

Like a snowflake falls like a feather,

and an avalanche rushes like a scream

from my throat that feels tired every morning.

Like a slow deep breath

of cold air

that leave lungs pierced

but sated and hurt but alive.

Love like your chest gets tight,

air gets stuck

roof of the mouth sticky.

Like a coating of the thickest syrup

real good, sweet

and so damn bad for you.

 

How can ‘I Love you’

hurt so much?

Do you know what that’s like?

 

Like when did I realize, remember

that that Love was never meant for us,

was never packaged, beta-­tested, advertised, intended

for little Black girls, little gaybies,

women and womyn, for dark people,

whose souls are lost where the sea Loves on the rocks.

 

Is it supposed to hurt everywhere or just where they said the heart is?

Or hurt like when you say ‘we are the same’

or when they say ‘progress’?

Like they think

our dark, beautiful bodies

were made to hurt this way

be hurt that way

destroyed and torn apart

for everyone else’s sake that way.

 

Does it really hurt for you like it does for me?

 

Like the impact of a hand

across a blue and Black cheek

again and again?

And like protection swathed in blue

and gun metal black?

Like armor meant to keep away the pain

that brought it to your front door instead?

Like laying face down against pavement

with a weight shaped like fear

or 1, 5, 19, 32 bullets

pinning you to the ground?

Like death resting, silently on your shoulder

then shredding across your back?

Like when they say ‘too little, too late’

and it was always too much.

 

Or is it like pain that comes slow and steady

like the ocean Loves the shore?

Like a rainbow that shines

where the sun sheds no light on what hurts.

 

Maya S. Zeigler (she/her/hers) is a dance/film/anthropology major at Tufts University. Follow her on twitter @MiaMayaZ.

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