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Poem :So Many Feathers by Jayne Cortez

                                                    Jayne cortez

You danced a magnetic dance
in your rhinestone and satin banana g-string
It was you who cut the river
with your pink diamond tongue
did the limbo on your back
straight from the history of southern flames
onto the stage where your body
covered in metallic flint
under black and green feathers strutted
wings of a vulture  paradise on your head
strutted among the birds
until you became terror woman of all feathers
of such terrible beauty
of such fire

such flames
all feathers Josephine
This Josephine
exploding red marble eyes in new york
this  Josephine
breaking color bars in miami
this Joshephine
mother of orphans
legion of honor
rosette of resistance
this Josephine before
splitting the solidarity of beautiful feathers

Feather-woman of terror
such feathers so beautiful
with your frosted mouth half-open
why spilt your flamingos
with the death white boers in durban south africa
Woman with magnificent face of Ife mask
why all the teeth for the death white boers in durban
Josephine you had every eyelash in the forest
every feather flying
why give your beaded snake-hips
to the death white boers in durban
Josephine didn't you know about the torture chambers
made of black flesh and feathers
made by the death white boers  in durban
Josephine terror -woman of terrible beauty of such feathers
I want to understand why dance
the dance of the honorary white
for the death white boers in durban

After all Josphine
I saw you in your turquoise headdress
with royal blue sequins pasted on your lips
your fantastic legs studded with emerals
as you kicked as you bumped as you leaped in the air
then froze
your body breaking lighting  inf fish net
and Josephine  Josephine
what a night in harlem
what electricity
such trembling
such goose pimples
so many feathers
dancer of the magnetic dancers
fo the orange flint pelvis of the ruby navel
of the purple throat
of  the feet pointting  both ways
of  feathers now gone
Josphine Josephine
I remember you rosette of resistance
southern flames
Josephine of the bird heads, ostrich plumes
bananas and sparkling G-strings
Josephine of the double-jointed fingers
double jointed hips doubling
into a double squat like a double star into a giant double snake
with the double heartbeats of a young girl
doubling into woman-hood
and grinding into an emulsified double spirit
Josephine of such conflicts i remember
Josephine of such floating i remember
of so many heights i remember
of so many transformations i remember
Josphine of such beauty i remember
Josephine of such fire i remember
Josephine of such sheen i remember
so many feathers  i remember
Josephine Josephine


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