By Doriana Diaz
THE REVOLUTION OF THE EROTIC; Tenderness is Time
I could tell it was morning by the birds chirping.
Sometimes you can hear the utter symphonies erupting from their tiny chests. When I evaporate into stillness as the sun sliding up behind the last brick building, I feel the sensation of their spirituals.
Lorde wrote about this. To be in front of a revolution is to be a kind of angel. The revolution of the erotic was planted here, with the hands of her heritage. She burned, she bruised, she beckoned. Opening up vivid channels of sensational salvation. In her remembrance to us she declared that we can ignite ourselves in feeling.
“The erotic is a resource within each of us that lies in a deeply female and spiritual plane, firmly rooted in the power of our unexpressed or unrecognized feeling” (Lorde)
Some of us don’t not enter the spirit world through a womb but through a short moment of living in kin and our act of prayer that sent us there. All shrines have ghosts lurking somewhere and sometimes there is a ripple in the universe, and even then ghosts dare to dream.
The revolution of the erotic was simmering in soil. Then came Sanchez, Combahee, Kahil, Casel, Bombarra, and it began to bloom. They ain’t need nobody to tell them to weather a storm with a good woman. Wrapped in kinship, the sugar love and juju years that connect our alchemy ripened through language, riots, solar eclipses.
“The erotic is a measure between the beginnings of our sense of self and the chaos of our strongest feelings. It is an internal sense of satisfaction to which, once we have experienced it, we know we can aspire.” (Lorde)
The time for the revolution of the erotic is ripening, dawning on us under the cool breeze of spring rain. Like the roots of every bud, ready to burst forth from the underground, not as a new source but as a nod to the lineage of relics, refurbishing ourselves into a new kind of tenderness.
“For having experienced the fullness of this depth of feeling and recognizing its power, in honor and self-respect we can require no less of ourselves.” (Lorde)
In this time
hair is braided backward and titties hang low to rest so they can fly
we close our eyes real tight and press our faces in the warm split between breasts
smell the milk that was ours
goo-ga -ga is in the bible
you don’t clown a black woman when she got a hot skillet in her hands
heavy petting is only for miracle rest
I feel the revolution rising behind our blood. In these moments we must remember to be tender because we have survived the flood. We gotta make time while we got time.
Praise the Lorde.
Sources: Uses of The Erotic, Audre Lorde (1978)
Doriana Diaz is a storyteller, shapeshifter, and sensitive spirit rooted in Philadelphia's soulful rhythms. Her words have appeared in platforms such as;
Nappy Head Club, Black Women Radicals, GROW/N mag, allherwords, SYLA studio, We Heal Too, a.20 mag, Saddie Baddies, Black Girl Magik, The Kraal, and many more! Her writing is an exploration of cultural agency, archival documentation, and rhythms of resistance and expansion.