arnoldogarcía: Billie Holiday | day seven poetry month

 

She sings:
My heart is in Baltimore
My voice is scattered
in the ruins of your bruises
Winter always
hangs ’round
the corner
of my eyes
Spring
is handcuffed
to my blues
Wherever she goes
I will follow 
on my knees

She sleeps:
There was a man
who buried his hands
in the gardenia of my suns
Inhaled the DNA of my suffering
to erase the darkness
And take me away
busting me out of my cocoon

She improvises:
I was black I was white I was a woman
Whose only weapon was a song and night.
I was red I was blue I was a woman
Whose body became a battlefield for their lust
I was yellow I was North Star I was a woman
Whose voice tamed the coyote and the wild forgetfulness
I was brown I was azure for the lost south
Craving a family, a sacred land, a house, a lover-man

She writes:
He only wanted
what nobody else wanted
To let me sing
Sending death away empty handed
To drown his skull in my ecstasy…

Billie Holiday sits in my living room
holding my hands
traces the notes of her next song
on my wings
She rises from the couch
Puts on her shoes and walks away
pushing away the shadows…

She texts me her goodbyes:
I was blues

I was ebony
I was a woman
I was black

I was white
I was a woman
standing on the stage
gently ripping open

the graves of my bones
with the chrysalis

of my hands and caresses
on saxophones and pianos and an occasional guitar
I was power

I was explosion
I was a woman
who pinned gardenias

on the shock of dusk
who uplifted

the vibrato
of her fears
to carry you wherever I sang

 

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