© 2014   Mallika Roy  ,  "Untitled"

© 2014 Mallika Roy, "Untitled"

Where Are You From

//Sundai Johnson

is usually the second question asked, on a first introduction, because maybe place is 
something we share
or will at least tell me, that common experience is something we do not,
where I am from, is too long an answer for a first introduction, because it has never
really been a place

my home is five feet and one inches tall with a black cotton covered roof,
her eyes are windows to her soul and mirrors so that I can see my own,
beauty reflects off her like sun on glass windows and moonlight on puddles of rain
wisdom flows out of the swinging doors of her mouth like holy water I call it
intellectual baptism,
and her laugh is boom boom big enough to start an earthquake,
erupt a volcano,
and send a tsunami out of her sapphire sea

my home is the walking gospel with hands that,
wash my grandmother and mold canvas’s of paint into organisms
that dance to the blues
the blues, we used to dance to and the Beatles, and Stevie Wonder
she let Marvin Gaye tell me what was going on and Earth Wind and Fire were the elements in her science class
my dad use to sing, she's a brick house,
a house made of brick, built upon the rock,
of her salvation, and she carries me on her back like a cross,
like a saint who does not pretend to not be a sinner

and if home is where the heart is, then in the cavity of her chest is my heart,
next to hers,
pumping the same crimson blood through the narrow blue hallways that run
through her arms

so when you ask me where I am from please understand, that I am from the plush
pink walls of a big round belly,
brown baby, covered in rose colored jelly, in the crisscross cradle of my mother’s
woven embrace

my home is not made of brick or plaster or mortar or stone, my home,
is made of pearled flesh, and ivory colored bone,
I am from a fortress, with colossal love, my home,
is a woman with a refuge for a soul

what kind of crown do you give to a queen made entirely of solid gold.

//Sundai Johnson is 20 years old and an upcoming senior at the University of Michigan. She is an aspiring poet and a quasi-baker on the side. She just wants to write poems and bake cakes and hopes it somehow saves at least some of the world.


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