for those who lost our selves in between our prayers and the pandemic
somewhere, before the pandemic began, i misplaced my self.
many of us did.
we left bits and pieces of our sanity behind and replaced it with isolation and fear.
and we comforted our hunger with pieces of identities that tasted sweet but soured our outlooks just like they did our stomachs.
so much so, that as the year begins, we do not recognize who we are or who we’ve become.
i misplaced my self some time ago.
and it became harder to go back for her as the pandemic wore on.
things that used to be a breeze have now become burdens.
places that once offered fulfillment are now met with finicky observation.
the self i wore like the comfy sweater and stretched out socks unraveled and left me with only a hole for my neck and nowhere to put my arms.
and uncovered arms made it easier to feel how cold i was.
somewhere, along the way, i lost my warmth and my smile.
perhaps, it was the hatred of my skin or the disdain for my gendered body that caused it.
or maybe it was the perpetual consumption of Black death on the screen that did it.
Or…it may have been the personal offense i took with God for not saving my loved ones.
it was probably all of it.
that taught me a cold melancholy i am good at now.
but i don’t want to be good at that anymore.
i want to be good at joy.
i want it for all of us.
not the chinky joy that’s a hollow shell wrapped in toxic positivity.
or the hyper pious version faker than white Jesus (or Santa…take your pick).
but the kind of joy that brings us into re-membering our selves.
the parts we’ve left behind that need recovering.
and the kind of joy that shows us the way to who we are becoming.
so that we leave the unspeakable parts of us where they belong.
the kind of joy that resists and insists and deposits radical love and liberation wherever it is held.
joy that warms the cold and brings smiles signifying an end to the suffering.
somewhere, there is joy like this.
and maybe i misplaced my self so i would be forced to go and find it.
may we all encounter one another with grace and good wine as we venture out.
to find, and to have, this joy we all deserve to have.
dear God, may it be so.