Darice Jones and Liz Ness

Liz Ness
Inspiration piece

By Darice Jones

Queeta found herself sitting in baggy, worn, lavender sweatpants and an over-sized theme park tee,
her butt totally numb from the unyielding ridges of the bulky rocks at the water’s edge.
Oakland Bay Area morning breezes curved upward hard off the dancing grey water
and that cold air found its way up under her clothes, inviting little chill bumps to form from her lower back to her ankles
it seemed to push past the thick copper-colored ear gunk somehow too and make its way into her brain

her thoughts were cold

Looking down at her well-oiled brown skin, she thought
“what have I done with my life that really matters?”
The companion idea that she could count her age in decades now seemed to pour itself over her thoughts like water over a backyard charcoal fire, blowing Black smoke into her face, up her nose, down her throat and into her chest

Although it was chilly out, and she barely remembered driving to the marina
Queeta had no impulse to give herself comfort away from the cold of the Bay and the hard of the rocks

there was something she still needed to understand

the memory of last night’s argument with her dear brother crept onto her mental stage, his melodic baritone booming
“Your failure to take care of yourself is the real problem, Sis –
I don’t know what makes you think that you’re this endless resource that doesn’t have to be refilled,” Carter went on, “but I’m exhausted by the way you isolate yourself in this bubble of care for everyone else. Let me be of use, Sis. Let me help you. They’re my parents too. And your best would be way better, and way more satisfying with some help.”

In response,
She’d told him all about his life and his dreams
She’d told him all about his aspirations and his passions
She’d reminded him that he was the junior of the two

And he had stood there, looking at her sideways, with pity and grief filling his big ole sad brown eyes
“When was the last time you thought about your own Sis?”

My own what? she’d thought bitterly

He’d read her mind, “Your passion, your love, your needs, your desire, your calling, your body, your heart, your soul.”
“You know? The stuff that makes up you. You’re not anybody’s servant Sis. You’re not a fuckin’ mule. And I can’t stand idly by while you pour yourself out as salve for everybody’s pain until there’s nothing left of you.”

Wounded, she’d pushed him hard in the chest. He’d stood still as though she had no power at all. He’d wrapped his heavy musclebound arms around her, pulled her close – smashing her face against his chest, surrounding her with his signature scent of myrrh, holding her up easily as she collapsed, relaxed her whole body there, and just cried.


Now, alone, in the chill of a morning Bay breeze she wondered if she had the courage
To pull the medicine she had become over a lifetime of heartfelt service back into herself,
to pull all her petals back in and become a closed flower– ready to reveal her layers once again,
to inhale all the years of giving and with a heaving effort fill her lungs with fresh air?
And, with that question hovering like a water-fly in the peripheral of her right eye

Queeta adjusted just slightly on the hard rocks, unfolding her both her legs a bit,
and felt the prickly tingles of blood flowing again– from her butt down to her feet.

Written Under a Virgo Sun, 2020

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