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My foremothers safeguard my stride, avoiding the fault lines of the

vulgar Earth, they placate the stacked tectonic plates.

We are uprooted and disjointed

Honest and disoriented

We are suspended by Oya’s whirlwind

Disguised as birds taken to flight

We are engrossed by Erzulie’s erotic love

Refreshed by the cool spring flowing down our backs

But we are not hidden

We howl at death and keep your soul intact

They whisper into my ears, boasting about their feats and defeats:

“I poisoned Master LeCroix that one time”

“I left Jean to die in the fields”

“I seduced Madame Johnson”

“Who do you think built the city of Nantes?”

“Have you heard the bellows of enslaved rage?”

Each foremother imparted the names of

their masters and their lovers

With the precision of Galileo’s telescopes

Their existence contradicting gentile sentiments

Each foremother different from the next with their flashy eyes