When me Farda come down last time, Ah axe he why Ah couldn’t go live wid him in he country. He say Ah too young, too headstrong and willful yet. Ah tell he Ah gon’ be good.
He laugh and he say he must see it and not just wid he ears.
Ah push out me lips and pout, carrying on wid everyday foolishness, dat only serve to throw pepper in he eye, but he ain’t pay me no mind.
Ah axe Mommy how come we ain’ go stay by Daddy in he country what so full wid people like she, kind and gentle, smiling. People who nah ‘fraid so ain’t got no cause to bully and beat. Mommy good. She does make de best fry bread and comb me hair widout making me cry. When we playing we does dance like de wind and we laughter does carry til de sky change she outfit. When is lesson time she give me de learning so easy Ah ain’ self know Ah now know it.
Is only dem, dem others who does give me de hard knocks. And not one and only, but over and again, de same, den different, den same again. Everywhere Ah turn, knocks can’t done. Ah does limp back, weary and bloodied, throat raw from yelling for reason. But Mommy mango breath does dry me tears and she share sweet words for me and all.
Not like me, who so does want to loose me own fire dragon and pick up stick to bust clout on me enemies head til dey skull bones crush like coarse sand and dey brains dry up in de sun, because it so long Ah been beating alla dem.
But Ah does watch she and she good, Mommy is.
Mommy say tain’t time for we to venture to Daddy country, she gon’ stay wid me, stay me hand a while, learn me dragon to breathe a mango scented fire, hold me hand while Ah run dis race, see what de end gon’ be.
I nevah make it to Daddy country. Not wid me own body de way Ah was used to. Ah was just coming to learn to appreciate me own self. Ah had like me eyes, different from dem oddas. Mine was pink, which for a long time Ah regard as an unnecessary color, but Ah been noticing de range, since Ah been lookin at meself tryna determine what make dem hate me so. Ah had see me pink slide through magenta into crimson so me ain dislike me eyes bad bad no more. Me hands, what dem oddas call paws and claws, and me ain no why since alla dem does have de same five digits on each of dere’s too, some of dem furred. Me hands Ah ain fully accept yet. Dey look dangerous in truth. De nails dem bright white, like de blinding snow dat does sting you eye. Fine thin and pointy sharp, dey could cut deep wid a playful swipe. So Ah does be careful. Is why Ah hadn’t quite accept me hands, because dey had cause harm before when Ah ain mean to do it.
Ah ain’t had no complaint against me wings though. To say glorious is only a third of it. Beautiful, strong and useful. Especially when me hands ain’t do.
But alla dat done now. Sometimes Ah had fly away. Sometimes Ah had fight back.
De last time was bad, Ah fight back, yes, try to defend meself, preserve me life, but Ah lose.
Now me body gone, destroyed by me enemies. Dey tear out me eyes first, as if me and mine wouldn’ta remember dem. Me nails dey bite off wid dey own teeth, gnash off de sharp ends in dey own mouths, me blood gushing hard wid me hearts pain, mixing wid dey vile spit. Me glorious wings dey leave for last, shredding dem to small small, like de thoughts dey Mama and Daddy had feed dem, small small like de thoughts they feeding deyself.
Me body gone, Ah leave me pain behind, and not by me own hand, nor by surrender. T’was taken from me by force of hate.
Ah reach Daddy country wid me mind only. Is a colorless ting, shapeless too, yet mutable.
Ah had used to tink Mommy and me was dancing like de wind but Ah know now we coulda reach much further.
So now, when you feel eyes watching you and ain’t no eyes to see, it could be me.
If you belly trembling maybe is me fluttering in there. Ah nah calling for fight or flight, but minding you to mind you claws, try make you breath mango sweet, even as you fire hot. If not, you gon learn, is a why behind every ‘what happen’ and is not you and you alone who gon feel de heat.