When White Womxn Get Saved by Cultures-Not-Our-Own

collage of ‘ nourishment ’ acrylic on canvas by kelly germaine

collage of ‘nourishment
acrylic on canvas by kelly germaine

SALVATION
- a love poem for white womxn

White Jesus didn’t have it. we saw through him.

White men didn’t have it. we remembered the burnings.

White suburbs didn’t have it. we withered in the sterility.

White motherhood didn't have it. we are more than caregivers.

Our guts, our thyroids, our wombs, our very cells screamed for air.

We got sick.

We broke down.

We broke through.

In flight response, in spiritual guidance, in genocidal violence -

Our bodies took us to the oxygen we needed:

Culture.

Our ancestors had made a trade with White Supremacy.

In exchange for our dances, songs, rituals, medicines, and ceremonies;

they got survival.

The recipes they held onto in secret,

were not enough to satisfy.

Culturally starved,

we ate once again at the hospitality of indigenous peoples.

We ate yoga.

We ate reiki.

We ate ayahuasca.

We ate cacao.

We ate sage.

We ate yoni eggs.

We nourished.

Nourishment turned to binging.

Binging turned to obsession.

Well-intentioned and ill-intentioned,

we peddled recipes-not-our-own.

Which led to call outs,

call ins,

soul wrestlings,

justifications,

numbness,

rage,

confusion,

and eventually —

surrender.

Burned out by cultural appropriation,

we became hungry again.

While yoga, reiki, ayahuasca, cacao, sage, and ceremony were good, are good —

they didn’t save us,

can’t save us,

from what our bodies raced-as-white keep asking for:

still uprooted from our lands,

still segregated from people of color,

still estranged from our ancestors —

our bodies ask us:

Will you fight for your own dances, songs, rituals, medicines, ceremonies?

Will you fight for indigenous people who fed you when you were hungry?

Will you fight for y(our) salvation?

Kelly Strickland