Women in strange situations, trying to be courageous

“Any real change implies the breakup of the world as one has always known it, the loss of all that gave one an identity, the end of safety” – James Baldwin

The image of change is that of dying
Soft life wants fire

The brush on each woman’s guilt is
Tied to man and woman

Seeks fire; the guild of women strikes
Stone and three wonders

Cry a lone dream to sleep; we wonder
Who dies & whose knife

Cuts through night.

Dreams Bite by Audre Lorde
I
Dreams bite
Dreamer and legend
arm
at the edge of purpose
waking
I see the people of winter
put off their masks
to stain the earth red with blood
and on the outer edges of sleep
the people of sun
are carving their own children
into monuments
of war.

II
When I am absolute
at once
with the black earth
fire
I make my now
and power is spoken
peace
and hungry means never
or alone

I shall love
again

when I am obsolete.

The dream
My dream was full of women in strange situations, trying to be courageous. In one part of the dream there was a wedding in which a girl was wearing a tight sherwani with a dupatta accessory to cover her front which was choking her and her face had to be covered by it, like a sehra. So she was a bride dressed like a man, yet veiled. Even had a turban on her head. So a bunch of her cousins and friends got her to take everything off in a huge tent like traditional Swati smock and go get a coffee away from the wedding madness. One of my friends from grade school was one of them. Then there was trouble. Suddenly a group of plundering men descended on the village and set everything on fire, and one by one the women found themselves in the same spot on a roof, looking around them to find escape but then their dupattas or clothes caught fire. And one by one they all got burnt and disappeared. The last girl was another childhood classmate of mine. And I felt her desperation and confusion and mindlessness as if she were me. And then she/I jumped off, still on fire. And then in my dream I went off into a reverie about whether it was better to die crushed on the ground after falling from a height, or burning to death.

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