January 2020

Peripeteia: A Poem

"Invite my hands into yours despite our legs being drawn away from each other Othered."

This is the first of a two-part series by Dr. Tahtzee Nico on Peripeteia. The second, “Peripeteia: Meditation on Hegemonic Iconoclasm,” may be found here.

by Dr. Tahtzee Nico

Invite my hands into yours
               Despite our legs being drawn
               away
               from each
               other
Othered.
with ropes
and
               shackles…
They want to quarter us
               My god(s)
Our palms are raw.
Blades
               And
                              Then
Saltwater
               and
                             shea butter

Take us to the juke joint, our church
and
dance
               with me
               consensual inches instead of feet
A church where action edifies,
where edification choreographs action
               Where the stories unlived
               Untold
               unwritten
               make a home in a once feared and villainized darkness

               Salvation
Shattering icons of torture disguised as rationalized scriptures of
               monolithic
                             allegiance

Are we still alchemy?
               Transmutable?

In a temporal space
we dwell
               in a dimension where time regurgitates the linear from its belly
Burp the remnants of all that engulfed us in flames

words forced fed into our mouths
Malnutrition.

Mourn those words we once spoke
               And yet,
We create and nurture our languages daily

               Writhe
Contort your tongues and let out sounds that shake
               souls and the cement
                             and grass where displacement’s massacres were set in motion

If we are monsters
If creating our post-humanity makes you tender eyed
               Then look away from a grotesque beauty we hold as holy
Dance
               with
                             me
until our brow drips our efforts into our eyes, on our cheeks, on the bow of our lips
and drenches the garments that cover us

Do not dispel our treasures of the making space
code our love for one another in sweat, in song, in beats made on lunch tables
Dance
               Until
You feel liberated to honor your predecessors, your comrades,
Dance until you change the fate of
                                                         your
                                                         successors
And when you are done
               Make space
Rest
Let them dance
To a new choreography made
                                            to honor their emergence
                                            and to honor
your
                                           troupe

Tahtzee Nico identifies as Black, queer, trans non-binary and from the south (Montgomery, Alabama). Tahtzee has obtained a B.S. in Interpersonal and Public Communication, an M.A. in Urban Affairs and an EdD with a focus on liberatory pedagogy, processes and ecosystemic productions. Tahtzee has worked in womxn and gender studies within higher education, racial justice program development and management in non-profit, equity health research and educational policy implementation within the government sector. Tahtzee Nico currently resides in Portland, Oregon where they are currently working towards developing a publishing company for queer and trans POC narratives. 

2 comments on “Peripeteia: A Poem

  1. Pingback: Donate – The Activist History Review

  2. Pingback: Peripeteia: Meditation on Hegemonic Iconoclasm – The Activist History Review

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