for a coloured girl whose self was stolen | a layin on of hands

this past wednesday i had to deal with some personal trauma. the kind of trauma i never thought would ever happen to me. the kinda thing one always thinks “that happens to other people not me”. this (saturday) is the first day, i haven’t found myself staring into spacing with tears streaming down my face. i don’t know when, but i know i’ll be all right. i needed something to lift me up and this is what i found:

a layin on of hands by Ntozake Shange

i was missin somethin

somethin so important

somethin promised

a layin on of hands

fingers near my forehead




making me whole



all the gods comin into me
layin me open to myself

i waz missin somethin

somethin promised

somethin free

a layin on of hands

i know bout/ layin on bodies/ layin outta man
bringin him alla my fleshy self & some of my pleasure
bein taken full eager wet like i get sometimes
i waz missin somethin

a layin on of hands

not a man

layin on

not my mama/ holdin me tight/ sayin
i’m always gonna be her girl
not a layin on of bosom & womb
a layin on of hands
the holiness of myself released

i sat up one nite walkin a boardin house
screamin/ cryin/ the ghost of another woman
who waz missin what i waz missin
i wanted to jump outta my bones
& be done wit myself
leave me alone
& go on in the wind
it waz too much
i fell into a numbness
til the only tree i cd see
took me up in her branches
held me in the breeze
made me dawn dew
that chill at daybreak
the sun wrapped me up swingin rose light everywhere
the sky laid over me like a million men
i waz cold/ i waz burnin up/ a child
& endlessly weavin garments for the moon
wit my tears

i found god in myself
& i loved her/ i love her fiercely

& this is for colored girls who have considered
suicide/ but are movin to the ends of their own rainbows.

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