Out there
Resplendent as the pyramids, the
Taj Mahal and Graceland, as
our grandmothers’ wallpapered kitchens
Out there
Sit the structures of our bequeathing

Towers and icons
Archetypes and imaginings
Monuments of our gender
that fill our distant skies
with enormity and expectation

Out there
where the past is both distant
and fast approaching
Legacy stitches its seam between
our earth and the clouds

Right here

Squinting against slicing and unforgiving sands
we point our painted toes in rank-file formation
Brave the brutal acreage between lineage and revolution
Perception and prescription
Then and now
Now and again
and again

Out there
Redemption stacks precariously against our shared heavens
We extend our callouses to hold our promise in place
Offer the heft of our plush bodies to wedge wide our glory
Solid as chapel doors

From here
We swallow honey-sweetened praise
Slide curses across our flesh
We were never told this march would be easy
We were never told to see it all the way through
We were told to set our sights on the skyline antiquity
A crowded cluster of possibilities
Chiseled hastily by the hands of men
by the hands of men
by the hands of men

From here
Our pockets weigh heavy
with lessons,  scars, treasures, tools
ideas scribbled on napkins
and copper coins for casting our wishing well dreams
From here
We travel
We sway
We wander
We race
We stumble
We stop


Something glimmers along the edges
Like an oasis coaxing us to mirage waters
Right there
the truth of our divinity
glints boldly inside the sun
We were never told to journey beyond their horizon
We were never told to explode with our own light

From right here
with star fire refracting through our bellies
We will scatter this landscape
Abandon the horizon’s generic paths
Follow our own shimmering inspiration
of the WOMAN we each
were beckoned to be

—Dasha Kelly