Leaving is not enough. You must stay gone. Train your heart like a dog. Change the locks even on the house he’s never visited. You lucky, lucky girl. You have an apartment just your size. A bathtub full of tea. A heart the size of Arizona, but not nearly so arid. Don’t wish away your cracked past, your crooked toes, your problems are papier mache puppets you made or bought because the vendor at the market was so compelling you just had to have them. You had to have him. And you did. And now you pull down the bridge between your houses, you make him call before he visits, you take a lover for granted, you take a lover who looks at you like maybe you are magic. Make the first bottle you consume in this place a relic. Place it on whatever altar you fashion… Don’t lose too much weight. Stupid girls are always trying to disappear as revenge. And you are not stupid. You loved a man with more hands than a parade of beggars, and here you stand. Heart like a four-poster bed. Heart like a canvas. Heart leaking something so strong they can smell it in the street.
asked by Anonymous
Mucho gusto, Orlando! Oriente would definitely be a place we share in common. I’m sorry to say I’m not exactly sure to what ancestor I owe the Obret; there seems to have been an Obret married (or attached to) a Ma’sunción, who gave birth to the Emiliano Vinent I mentioned in a post a couple of years ago. My mother was Riveron Obret before marriage. I’ve tried finding the name Obret in genealogical records to pin down the origin but have not gotten very far. Any information you have would be much appreciated. Kinfolk or no, thanks for reaching out!
Zora Neale Hurston wrote Tell My Horse: Voodoo and Life in Haiti and Jamaica Jewell Parker Rhodes wrote Voodoo Dreams a novel of Marie Laveau. Who else?
My love, My Love by Rosa Guy, Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson, Yvonne Chireau’s Black Magic, Katrina Hazzard-Donald’s “Mojo Workin” are some really good ones.
The Faces of the Gods by Leslie G. Desmangles, a book recommended to me by a Vodou priestess
Broadly interpreting, to bring in other Afro-Diasporic religions:
Patrick Bellegarde-Smith and Claudine Michel, _Haitian Vodou: Spirit, Myth, and Reality_
Kamari Maxine Clarke, _Mapping Yorùbá Networks: Power and Agency in the Making of Transnational Communities_
Yvonne Daniel, _Dancing Wisdom: Embodied Knowledge in Haitian Vodou, Cuban Yoruba, and Bahian Candomblé_
Dianne M. Stewart [Diakité], _Three Eyes for the Journey: African Dimensions of the Jamaican Religious Experience_
Katherine Dunham, _Island Possessed_
Rachel E Harding, _A Refuge in Thunder: Candomblé and Alternative Spaces of Blackness_
Tracey E. Hucks, _Yoruba Traditions and African American Religious Nationalism_
J. Lorand Matory, _Black Atlantic Religion: Tradition, Transnationalism and Matriarchy in the Afro-Brazilian Candomblé_
Lorna McDaniel, _The Big Drum Ritual of Carriacou: Praisesongs for Rememory of Flight_
Luisah Teish, _Jambalaya: The Natural Woman’s Book of Personal Charms and Practical Rituals_
Mikelle Smith Omari-Tunkara, _Manipulating the Sacred: Yorùbá Art, Ritual, and Resistance in Brazilian Candomblé_
Marta Moreno Vega, _The Altar of My Soul: The Living Traditions of Santeria_
Jason R. Young, _Rituals of Resistance: African Atlantic Religion in Kongo and the Lowcountry South in the Era of Slavery_