Happy Belated Birthday Cas!!!!!

There is something incredibly wonderful about watching one of your friends dance, especially if their body\’s motion creates poetry amidst extensions that are riddled with fire! That is exactly how I feel when I watch Casandra Rojas dance — her body is the ink that moves and flows on the page with raw expression. Cas\’ dance I must admit rivals her emotive and honest poetry.  I missed Cas\’ birthday last month this post honours the work that she wields via her very powerful sword! ❤ Thank you so much Cas for furnishing me with wonderfully lush work! 

HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY CAS!!!! I hope this year is filled with endless possibilities. 

To all the men who have gifted me,
(or any other human for that matter), 
their last breath of love,
their flickering light of hope,
their strength,
their kindness,
their fury,
their lightning,
their humble help,
their trembling hand,
their protection. 
For the men who held me in their most nurturing embrace,
put down their shield and sword, and bared themselves,
fed me, before they touched their plate,
blanketed me with their warmth
they knew what it was to be left out in the cold…
they knew that I am only a woman… just as unholy as him…
I am more than grateful, 
some fathers of their own children, adored, 
(even when some are missed, even when some are gone), 
some fathers of themselves, and me, and their friends…
some fatherless brothers that life gave me without hesitation,
so we could learn to parent ourselves… 
all gifts in the life of a woman whose courage 
is heavily founded on the men she has encountered. 
Thank you, 
for teaching me courage, 
for encouraging me to be better, 
for not judging my mistakes, 
for showing me redemption, 
for the time to understand you, 
and for taking the time to understand me. 
        Happy Father\’s Day.

I was once mistaken for a devil
                 by an angel
      he shot me at close range 
                I didn\’t flinch
as the heart shaped bullet bit through skin 
chewing through my chest at full speed
nearly sucking the life right out of me
it left a trail of fire as it fled past my spine
(exit wounds are more painful than you\’d think) 
           It left a valentine burn
  I played it cool, calm and collected 
      the color flushing from his face
      there was no blood in the wound 
    he released the one in the chamber 
   hoping to see a stream of red velvet
            ammunition all wasted 
             screaming in despair 
furious with my unchanging demeanor 
        his eyes engulfed by flames
if it wasn\’t for the tears that fell like lucifer
           from his heavenly stare
if it wasn\’t for the way he cursed my name
        as he demonized my essence 
I would have thought the devil
                  was him.

We take off
through snow-covered roads
gazing at candy-colored hills
a countdown
a breakdown
a ruptured freedom
and our lungs fill
with hope
with the unspoken
with emotions
with love
and pain
and we rage 
we rebel 
we pray to live another day
as we navigate through orange fog
through a golden daze
we bring our ancestors with us
because it is their
faith that has kept us
we seem lost
screaming lyrics to tunes
that say it better than we ever can
and isn\’t that what they are for 
we know where we are going
we just have a different sense of direction 
of location
of stability 
and we don\’t look at the rear view mirror 
as we speed off
we save that for the decades to come 
that last glimpse
of the east coast 
of the back roads 
that we learned to trace
with our eyes closed
that lead us here or there
drove us away
our shiny toy gun hearts
playing Russian roulette 
pumping leaded blood and oxygen 
through bullet bloodstream 
is the color we bleed
making memories attuned 
to our destination 
our destiny still unwritten
crossroads yet to find us
as we ride around
chasing the horizon
and its setting moon
leaving a rising sun and tire marks behind
on a pavement too wobbly to hold us
and our time machine car
with its music too loud
and a slightly cracked windshield 
and we are slightly older now
still the same yet somehow changed
in ways we can\’t explain
but there will always be 
a highway
a road
a path
a song
that takes me back
to us
snow-covered roads
candy-colored hills
the backs roads of the east coast
the rising sun and the tire marks 
in a rear view mirror glimpse 
of a setting moon through a cracked windshield 
and our time machine…

© Casandra Rojas 

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