The Gold Formed in Supernovas

The Gold Formed in Supernovas

Out of the Supernovas
Where we
And all the gold were formed
We fell nightmarishly into a world of dreaming

From the crowns of our mother’s heads
Into swelling hopeful wombs

We plummeted

Mothers, you did not come from a rib

And, we definitely fell from your celestial wombs
Skies under the sky

The Twice Born
Born from two sacred furnaces

This is for every woman who has ever held a child’s hand
Until it was strong enough to walk

And, for every woman
Who has ever had to have her hand held
When choosing
Not to bring a child into this world

O-o-h child things are gonna get easier
O-o-h child things will be brighter

We waited until it was our turn to play

I came to earth to reclaim my Stetson hat
A cosmic Staggerlee

To hang on to this world as it spins around
And to not let the spinning get me down

The stars are both my cradle and my cenotaph

And in this līlla where our dreams collide
Spending lifetimes running from all the reasons
We came here in the first place

Running from each other

Why not build a world
A stronger world
A strong though loving world
To dream in?

Cowardly dreamers

Often our dreams dare not speak their names
Falling out of the strangeness and the charm
Like purposeful precipitation

We are the faces of our mother’s and our father’s
Agony and ecstasy.

We are the chain reaction

We are atomic shadows
Tattooing the ruins and the wreckage
Of yesterday’s dreaming
The wreckage we must stoop to rebuild
With our broken tools
And burned hands

We are the quantum miracles
That force the gods to come to earth
To intervene on our behalf

And a mother to offer us her milk filled breast

This Song of Experience and human abstract
Living in the concreteness
Where the mundane and divine clash

Our Ideas can’t be killed
Only their containers smashed
And their advent delayed

Rebuild the Tower of Babel
Five Stairsteps
And space

Build it high enough to shout at god
And to say:
Your confounding of our languages
Has never stopped us from writing a poem
Or a song
Or a prayer
Or even attempting to be reasonable with each other

We are many
нас багато
[nas bahato]

Thousands chanted this in Russia
At Aleksei Navalny’s funeral
Where it was illegal to be

And they aren’t covering their faces, either.

This is for Lulia and Daria Navalny
Who have vowed to carry his dream
And for all of the hope that Putin can never kill

Ideas can’t be killed
Only their containers smashed
And their advent delayed

This is for the sacrifices of
Myrlie and Medger Evers
Bayard Rustin
Mamie Till- Mobley and Emmitt Till
And the open casket that forced America to gaze into an abyss
That was also gazing

And for the patience
Of John Lewis
And all of the people
Who still continue to cross the Edmond Pettits Bridge annually

Even though it still continues to be named
After a Klansman

This is for the voice of Fannie Lou Hammer
Who told us
“Stay together children”

And the music of Martha Redbone
Who is a lover
And a Mother
And a sister, too

She is bold enough to ask god:
Why can’t we talk about it?

And for Donnie Hathaway who fell
And Roberta Flack who supported his sky
As long as she could

For Tammy Terrell who consorted with Marvin Gaye
Their words and music still work
And still matter

You are my loves
You are my heavens
You make me sing
La Dee Da

This is for all of the Women who
Like an Egyptian Goddess
Hold up the sky
Giving shelter to the earth

For the rage of Nadya Tolokonnikova,
Lead singer of Pussy Riot
And for Harvey Milk
And all of the us’s in the U.S.

And, for a bunch of other people, too
Who you won’t ever learn about in school
Because they are too diverse to be included
In orthodox versions of Ameri-can’t History.

Let our actions in the world
Build elegant lattice like ladders into afrofutures
In the likeness of the subatomic grid structures
Found in the gold formed in supernovas


(By Heidi Lindemann and Michael Perry)

(Image credit 1: Untitled, Firelei Báez / Smithsonian) (Image credit 2: Untitled, John Armleder / Museum of Modern Art)