Setting Eve Free

Sister girl, how they’ve had your name locked up for yearsEvePic
Said it was you who ate the apple
Was led astray by your lusts
Bringing down the integrity of the world
With your seductive touches
And questioning, wandering eyes

They said it was you who’ve been entrapping men
Bending and folding them in the grip of your thighs
Tantalizing them with the fullness of your breasts
Leading them to hell with the way the sun radiates off your coily black hair
Whether its locked
Picked out
Or flowing down your back

So they told you to shut up
Put up
Dial it back
Stay in your place
Be seen and not heard
And accept your plight as ordained by God for your sin

And we believed them
We let them drag your name through dung itself,
We distanced ourselves from you
Disassociated ourselves from the most intimate pieces of ourselves so that we would not also succumb to the Jezebel,
Sapphire,
Delilah
Stereotype

But we’ve gotten older and a bit wiser
We’ve had children of our own, the stretch marks in places we didn’t even think were possible,
The graying of our hair while we still try to maintain our youthful vigor of days long ago, the way our thighs jiggle now, no matter how thin we are. We’ve learned some things living in our bodies, being in touch with our full selves

We found out they lied
Told the biggest story of all
And us all, believing it was you
You who destroyed the world
Broke up homes
Impregnated yourself
Knocked yourself unconscious
Pushed yourself down the flight of stairs
Played the whore
Brought your misfortune upon yourself because of the way you dressed, the way your hips moved to much, the color of your lips, because of where you were, because of who you were with

Now we know
The story is only beginning to unfold
The truth, your truth was always here
In plain sight in between the folds of the pages
Though it took a trained eye to see
Because we’ve internalized the lie for so long
We needed help to be brought back to you
Brought back to

Our truth. The truth we bear as women
Young and old
Rich and poor
Black and white and LatinX
And Queer and
All of us

To see our stories, our identities so intricately wrapped together
Though patriarchy has damaged us
Forced us to choose between false binaries
None of us are going free til all of us get free
None of us are going free til

Eve
Sister girl
Mother, daughter, friend
From whom all living things come forth
Who birthed the world
Though the world despised and rejected her

Til Eve rise up out of the pages
Reclaims her narrative
Tells the story that is just beginning to unfold
To be silent no more
To no longer be either a passive or active participant in our destruction

The whole world is at stake
The whole creation groans with groaning that cannot even be uttered for our liberation

Eve,
Sister girl
We stand with you
We got you
We believe in you
Just as much as we believe in ourselves
In our stories
Held in our bodies just anxious to come out

This poem is excerpted from a sermon I preached called, “People Get Liberated.”

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