Rachel Rumai Diaz

European Period

Told by Rachel Rumai Diaz

Here lies the fruit of my invaded womb.
This is what is left of me.
There are pieces of my body scattered around
looking for its way back to a home that no longer exists.
Home is now wherever you point your gun,
wherever I come undone,
wherever the tip of your knife cuts
into the flesh other than my own.

I have been waiting for you to let me be free.
This is what you made of me.

Here lies the mess you made after you broke me.
Made into bite-size pieces to be devoured.
I have been mixed, stirred, whisked, beaten, and whipped
until there has been nothing left of me to hold onto.

I am everything you find desirable and offensive at the same time.
Just the right amount of savage,
the right amount of forbidden.
Just the right amount of exotic roasted with confit garlic.

Made of conquered soil ground into the cornmeal.
Mixed with oil and saltwater to taste.

Here lies me,
served on a broken plate,
smoked long enough to preserve the taste of my flesh
made from your flesh.

Strange fruit hanging from your loins.
I am the daughter of your genocide.
Granddaughter of a war I never asked for.
Bastard of your crimes and curiosities
that killed the essence of me.

I am the taste of blood on your tongue.
What do you see when you look at me?
Do I look like cinnamon sprinkled to add flavor to your pallet?
Or does the spice wars have been fought over leave an aftertaste in your mouth?
Do I taste like burnt sugar?
Do you hear whispers of whore and witch when you put your hands on me?
Do the tips of your fingers feel like they could go up in flames?
Do you like them spicy and fiery, like me?

Do I look like something that doesn’t belong?
Do I look like you want to ask me where I’m from,
but no, where I’m really from?
Do I look like I would want you to take a bite of me?

I come from magic.
Full of honey and light.
Touched by the hand of Gods.
Skin kissed by the sunlight.
I come from fearless women.
Bearers of stolen children in the night.
I come from nameless warriors.
Mothers of forgotten Kings and Queens,
teachers of life, and collectors of dreams.

I come from bloodshed.
Spilled onto land.
Spilled into me.

I come from songs whispered into the air
and bodies aching to be free
and all music that comes from hands beating chest
to the rhythm of the sea.

I come from home,
wherever that may be.

I come from forgiveness,
but no apologies ever thrown our way.
We taught our mouths to kiss the pain away.

Here lies what is left of me.

Bon appétit.


Rachel Rumai Diaz taking a seat at the table - The premiére of Neo Futurist Dinner 13: Code Noir Anisa Xhomaqi

With: Lelani Lewis