saints turned mules. (in voices.)

ev’morn, she kills her song

flickr.com
ev’ morn, she rolls the dough
ev’ morn, she rises before dawn
ev’ morn, she chooses habit over hope
ev’ morn, she kills her song

she watches him watching her. he lingers and longs. her wild eyes meet him each night and each morning before dawn. emptiness in her view. no more tears to carry. the girl stolen has been gone too long. deserts have replaced the forests. The wilderness that she was born to explore has abandoned her. drained her. no longer the hunted but caught and captured. no longer pursued. enslaved. she no longer mourns her tomorrows. there is no more to fear.

“my insides don’t much matter. except for holding babies. my insides ain’t nobody. they don’t feel. who i am on the inside is nobody. nobody you’ll ever know. nobody you’ll meet in this lifetime. i wanted love a long time ago. before i knew people like me, like you can’t get love. but i got children instead. i’m from a long line of mules. i ain’t no woman. i ain’t no queen. i ain’t even human. i ain’t no god for you to worship, to hear my song. i ain’t got no song. mules ain’t got no song. mules get used. i carry life i can’t keep. i grow babies that don’t look like me. 
i sat at the feet of my mother’s feet, my grandmother’s feet, their mother’s feet and all the black women they keep collecting like trinkets they put on the trees at christmas time. there was nothing left for them and there ain’t nothing left for me. they insides didn’t matter. why should mine matter? all those years ago, they was just mules. and you can’t love a mule. mules can’t love you back. they just wait for you to use them again.

i picked up the book and he slapped my mouth into bleeding. i drew circles in the red earth and he kicked my belly into cramping. that time i laughed, he twisted my arms until my eyes turn red. one day, i thought i’d hop, he let the dog loose to chase me til the dog tore at my leg. i smiled at moses, a boy that look just like me and he dragged my sore legs to the trees. body artfully made. body broken before aged. touched and prodded. split apart in the dark. to change girl to ghost.
ev’ morn, she rolls the dough
ev’ morn, she rises before dawn
ev’ morn, she choose habit over hope
ev’ morn, she kills her song

he longs to hold her ways. a warrior in him rages beneath the surface. he still has hope. he still has soul. he still has something to long for. he wants to love her. her eyes doesn’t deter him. untamed. free in a way that she cannot be. nothing else left in her to chase. nowhere left to run. where there is no fear there is no love. she watches him watching her. she is saving him from herself. herself, that sees his wilderness. his wilderness that don’t know the thirst it takes to cross deserts. she is leaving him with more than she can give.

“you know what a woman like me wants? redemption. liberation. i’m dead already. every night, i lay dead waiting on somebody to have the decency to throw some dirt on my decaying body. i’m dead walking. i got my babies but if i look like i playing like i’m living then he takes another one of my babies. i could marry you. the missus would give permission. and still every third night he’ll come to me like he do every third night. if he don’t kill you, he’ll come close. i’m dead already. i’m just waiting. you? you ain’t never died like a woman gotta die and you never will. you like a horse. horses don’t want nothing on they back. they throw it off. they got gumption. the real wild ones, they kill. and all being wild gotta mean is you don’t want no man on riding your back.
mules, you get used. they tie your neck down and make you drag more’n you can carry. you got no choice but to pull loads that ain’t yours. and mules will always have a yoke round they neck. everybody think mules born to pull loads only. and if i ain’t mule to him, i’ll be mule to you. and i can’t be mule to nobody else. this way, i can pretend i’m free.”

his face filled with love and then lust. he can’t pick one to feel most. i can’t walk with his eyes not watching where i go. who i go with. what i do. if i sing a song that makes all weak in the knees. i’m missing teeth for my song. my innocence stolen living in a rusting cage. his sex more painful to make me mind his ways. loved and hated. abused and mutilated. almost feeling shame after being violated. in darkness. over and over again. because of my heart. for my heart. my heart is my own.
ev’ morn, she rolls the dough
ev’ morn, she rises before dawn
ev’ morn, she choose habit over hope
ev’ morn, she kills her song
ev’ morn, she hums instead