Gabrielle Mustapich

It Was All God, Then The Men Came


Women, the oldest, sacred
land known to man
each acre an adorned altar
miraculous mountain ridge
each valley a virtuous vessel.

We remember when the men came.
Naked, naïve, curious and confused,
toting seeds in open palms.
Looking to God for direction,
us for sustenance. They gawked
at our majesty, the way we adorned ourselves
with flowers and feathers, expressive
laughing geysers, earth-quaking neck rolls
seismic attitudes. Their jaws fell heavy
as waterfalls seeing us, women,
knowing exactly what to do with ourselves.
Jealously coveting what we owned
how we woman’d our waters, detailed.
Blessing cacti with blossoms in arid sands.

They could have asked us
to show them, how to mold themselves
a planet from dust. But no.
Man couldn’t see his reflection
in our rivers, only a thirst to be quenched
a womb consumed. Fisting water,
they took what we offered,
and their well sunk deeper.
We christened these craters, manholes.
Having plenty to give,
we arched our hillsides
carved them out synagogues for safekeeping.

In return, they cut straight blade edges in our curves
Conquerors never challenged.
Colonizers of homeland.
Coaxing us oblivious, as if ash forgets fire.
Thanking the God that led them here
never considering
it was us all along.

Men conjure faith in exchange for courage,
in the face of war, all things a pawn.

We remember when they turned our body into battleground.
We remember the riots across our waistline.
We remember every single time man splattered blood on our cheeks.
Satisfied, as the genocide of their own kind came pouring down our thighs.

Man, closest to birth
and swift to forget his mother,
anointing himself king
of a body he does not own.

We were first responders to the cosmos, still are.
Still hanging tears in the dead of night, for them to ignore.
Still blessing the desert air with dew.
Still sacred, and all the wiser.


Slide 1 - copy
Image is not available
Like what you read?
Here are two ways to show your support:
Liked what you read?
Here are two ways to support: