By TABARI Z. BOMANI
For the SHEs and Hers of my life—past, present and future—I offer this, simply and with love. Happy Women’s History Month.
“I WAS MADE TO LOVE HER”
She steals my breath
But it’s ok for I need only her look to fill my lungs
Her kiss to quicken my heart.
She moves in me
Creates tremors on my skin
Awakens parts in me I only a second ago believed had died.
Although I try to deny it
She rises in me like the sun
And sets heavily in my soul like the moon.
I began with Her
Crawled out and sought nourishment at her breast.
Taught me all that I didn’t know
And then let me shine with the knowledge
And stood back
Pleased with her creation.
And then I found her sister friends
They taught me how sweet their skin could taste
Let me hear the music of their movement
Taught me to cry
In my foolish youth,
When I spurned them with my arrogance,
They gave me the gift of forgiveness
And taught me how to be a man.
Then, I found them.
My wayward sisters and daughters
Struggling against a sea of discontent
They reached for me and called me teacher, friend and father.
I offered them what little I had
Promised them a place in my heart
And they taught me to be a better father.
Finally, when Allah felt I had learned enough
They came forth.
The small ones whose eyes search me out.
The small ones whose hands fit so comfortably in mine.
They made my soul weep
And give me
In the fall of my rising
I sit at my first love’s feet
I offer her oil and comfort
She gives me guidance and love.
And I her harvest
I tell her that the prophet speaks of paradise at her feet
And she smiles and hopes it there when she is too tired to be tired.
She is all of them.
I adore women.
The smell, tough, laughter, wisdom, softness, danger, comfort and light of women. I could sit quietly at their feet and feast off of all that give.
I would be happy
From the shadows
Quietly building monuments to glorify all that they’ve done
And all that we sad men have chosen to forget.
Tabari Z. Bomani is a teacher and Dean at an alternative school in Brooklyn, N.Y., and a writer and lecturer who is working on a book of poetry and political essays. The former African Studies professor lives in Long Island with his wife and young daughters.