an invitation

by Veronica Agard


not just literally

bodies that attempt to interface

with mine

finding out the responses

to naming what i am

responsible to


picking up things that cannot be put back down

masking a performance that i’m comfortable with

it’s not moving my heavenly body in a way

that garners too much attention


playing the wall that now helps me stand fully

my family always comments on my posture

my forces of nature adjust my shoulders for me


they are my antidote to

the contempt

the judgement

the misplaced rage

the hunger

that is placed on my personhood

my femininity


like a chiropractic realignment

there’s a stirring in my soul

a voice that is a myriad of tones

reminding me of my own

it has a mixture of sea salt and clay

speaking of permission to be

to be expansive

to be bold

to be rich in my pitch


they implore me not to limit myself

they invite me to soften

they courage me to let folks in

or even worship

dote on me

love on me


a sensation of care that is not pretentious

it is seen when i feel seen

in all that i am

all that walk with me


a kiss on the top of my crown

an affirmation of my spirit that is not transactional

a sense that i can swing and sweep on a dancefloor when i hear that song

a dispatch from Io, adjacent to Jupiter

that reminds me that

I am indeed worthy


of such exaltation that does not alienate me

instead allowing me

to fumble and be nuanced

receive and take

love and be loved


an illness of half truths

misguided projections

and assumptions

can only take root in my psyche and bodies

if i grant it permission.