Restless Flying / a politics of the heart / shakirah peterson after toni morrison, with virginia hampton, sonia sanchez, audre lorde & fred moten

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Untitled. Fused silk. Photograph by Kevin Ryan.
Courtesy of the Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Foundation.

“but the thing is, things speak the nothing that is… that underpresence…where unknown things talk among themselves…”
— Fred Moten, “Nothing, Everything,” Black and Blur

—   what are y’all trying to tell me?
—   nothing1.

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This is part of the cluster Restless Flying. Read the other posts here.

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  1. that person inside of you that you like least is the one your lovers left behind – this kneaded thing, all molded & foreign. you can’t be her no more & you know it. you’ve been seeking the words for this sentiment for so many moons. you weigh it, call it heavy(because it feels like sediment & ironically, only comes when you attempt to settle).

    when you love you vanish – but this time, you jumped back & got you (& i mean, you’ve really been digging on you & it’s about damn time). you seen yourself for real, kissed her, poured her scent back into you & now anyone who desires your orbit must do the same – you gotta require it.

    that last love thought he saw you. they all think they do; you make them believe they have (it’s Black magic, really – how easy it is for you to become the thing they need to see), but you don’t really be there & never really been. it’s an exhaustive existence, ain’t it? reminds you of something? a thing you kept seeing that nobody else saw? did it shock you?

    those tiny agile wings resting still on the bald branches outside that window, transparent (barely there), were put there for you. you’ve always known spirit to whisper, but this was a smaller quiet, a lesson brewing on the outskirts of silence – a coincidence (which is really god’s way of staying anonymous).

    if your people could fly they wouldn’t stop climbing the air for nobody (but god). their bodies would plummet the earth if they neglected to use their wings (be seen in all their glory). a dragonfly’s wings beat entire whirlwinds underneath them – you think they’d choose to sit still? for fun?

    here’s the lesson: you saw them because you were meant to. their wings halted for the eye trained to see them. you wanna be seen?

    you gotta be real (and) still.