- Bessie's Hymn
The door, I've been shouldering is ajar—a spoon of light, a threshold of honey— a cataract, a riot, a trumpet of honey. To pass through it now is to get wet with fire or rain, is to be a BAM Hippopotamus woman 880BC walking the sunken garden, an Amphora of Honey on Her Head. The sun's eye winks. Sterling Brown warbles and Honey oozes, opulently yolks apiary riches ((( amber dollops ))) into wild black air. and all the birds sing bass I am paddling up a river of honey to stand in a field, a child on my hip. There is no field. There is no child. Yes? I am abuzz. In this honey-buckwheat field, a child on both hips. Honey hands tug at my hair. MEN I RAN WITH (subtitled) "All the wrong ones." One to ©Scrabble One to contend in Wolof & French One to scratch Adelbergh whiskey from his sand blonde beard. An envelope opens. 2 frail petals tumble out. The peony in full bloom Monday, washed away in last night's rain. [End Page 1012] Even I want to lick the slate clean. Waggle: "Orpheus was here. He came back for me. He held my hand and led" and all the birds sing bass But now I see. The Hand I've been holding all this wild is my own: a laying on of skirts petals on the Avatar's crown! My Banished ones come back inside me to be born Tuesday through a doorway only honey, honey, honey. In the dream, Oshun is pulling Book after Book from my shelf. They all have my name on them. "You've been Busy" She says and the honey spills from her eyes. She is smiling. "You are ready." "You know how to die."
Nehassaiu de Gannes is an assistant professor of theater, performance, and society at Rhode Island State College, as well as a faculty member of Goddard College's IMA Program. In 2006, her "Door of No Return," a performance piece, was produced by Brown University's Rites and Reason Theatre. She lives in Harlem.