Ciara Smith, "Joy"

Origin Story

I.

I was born by way
of God lighting the ocean on fire,
was birthed when the flames
broke the water between the waves
of my mother’s pain
too soon;

II.  

The tendrils of the kraken they called umbilical cord
tried to
cocoon me
from broken cradles,
for when the vow breaks but
inferno held calloused hands above her womb and
wrecked our ship, 
called it telekinesis, 
called it deliverance so
the kraken let me go,
so they couldn’t
cut me out of her coral reef and
call me a sea section.

III. 

The charred remains of the crests embedded themselves in my curls
and that’s why when I wash my hair,
I can still smell the burnt sorrow of the horizon
                                          shower steam risin’, 
               like burnt incense
               like burnt common sense
               like the reason I don’t have the common sense
               to do anything except burn.