I taste of salt. My fingers cannot sit still. I smuggled
tears from smile to smile. When I became too tired
to run, I swam. What love does not reach beyond
borders? I swam. I rose. I flew. I dreamed. I fell in
love with little to no food. I belonged to no where,
no one, no thing. I fell in love with everywhere, every
one, everything. I was hungry and cold. I hated hunger
and cold. I hated everywhere with no food. I hated
everyone with everything. It was different. I was
a woman. I was stupid. I was waiting to become
more than what happened, more than a bird fleeing
it’s country, to bathe in being afar, more than a land
scape or an image to cast a shadow on, the flip
of a tricky coin, seductress of men, visions aching
for a new story to tell you. My children, riding on
the dragonflies of sacrifice, I left them. I turned back
many times, I almost became the devil they wanted
but I left. A devil, nonetheless. I was a woman ahead
of her time. I shimmered in the scars. I live in
the bloodline. I imagine more than broken families.
I come from the laughter of aspiring lovers, the lure
of trembling in another’s arms. What about what
I wanted? What of the loss—of culture, of dreams,
of home? There were many secrets. We fled from
the revolution. I could not protect my children from
everywhere. I made offerings. I cleansed. I repented.
I am their mother. I am not God. I was a Candela.
I glowed. I was luminous. I lit up the room. I was
the light gleaming in the Sierra Maestra at night. I was
the mountains. I swayed the sunrise, yearning. I danced.
I was a witch they could not burn. I was la Fuega. I am
their mother. I am not God. I made choices. I made peace
with them. I was a woman ahead of her time. I was
the road you took here. I am la Camina. I was the way.
Aja Monet’s has two books of poetry. Inner-City Chants & Cyborg Cyphers (June 2015) is a music and EBOOK collection in which Monet “explores the double consciousness, or two realms, that those who are oppressed, especially women of color, manage everyday: confronting the everyday physical realities of their situations and the mental travel needed to cope, survive, and transform bleak situations” (Modern Griot). It is a testimony to family and self, memory, loss and remembrance, home and the journey away from home to find one’s self—and to build a stronger community. The Black Unicorn Sings was independently published in 2010. Of this collection, the Dodge Poetry Festival wrote, “Throughout Monet’s poems in The Black Unicorn Sings, she returns to strong female characters, and sometimes to broken female characters that need some uplifting. In both of these cases, Monet is celebrating the spirit of women and what they are capable of, with herself often as a primary example of this.” In 2012, she collaborated with poet/musician Saul Williams on a book entitled, Chorus: A Literary Mixtape: “the anthem of a new generation of poets unified by the desire to transcend the identity politics of the day and begin to be seen as one,” published by MTV Books/Simon & Schuster.