Speak And It Shall Be Dawn


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O woman
O darkness

O soft-footed shadows of the womb that conceived
sleepless cities toiling under a silver moon

through the ordained danger of birth that gilds in
flame every aspiration and makes pure every soul

the worthiness of each inch of each stride
on the well-lit streets of the other side

measured against the depth traversed by its reasons and
how ferociously it had fought the guiles of its demons

the opacity and substance of what you have to offer the
world come face to face with themselves in the mirror

warped with the perception of those for whom
you are a stranger and yours is a strange story

and the light that you built out of visions
and the beauty you extracted from your pain

must be armed to find their own way, say their own
names without wavering, and claim their own place

without sacrificing too much of their innocence and
the blood of your hard work in resisting jadedness

from being mishandled by hands who do not deserve to
hold you but are predisposed in their cruel curiosity to try

O fearlessness
O lithe flesh harboring secrets
O limitedness of being that emancipates the stars

“Ballet Star Misty Copeland”
by photographer Dennis Leupold


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