The Crack in Our Line (Poetry by Jessica Holter)

The Crack in Our Line (Poetry by Jessica Holter)

The Crack in Our Line

Audio Recording

Come with me as I backslide

to someplace far back in time

when rappers were griots

storytelling urban deities

making bootstraps of rhyme

Welcome to the other side

Before the female fall from grace

into the great crack in our line

that put our sisters on their knees

stole our grandmother’s wings

spoiled the fruit of our wombs

filled our breasts with poisoned powder

before the world found us complicit

in the crimes against us


Before the crack in our line

that opened the nightly news

to let the World peek through

for a million views upon our shame

that let our men see us this way

before we choreographed to the soundtrack

of their disdain 

for the things that we became

before we saw them rise upon stages

and fall into cages

before they made lovers

of one another


Slide your mind back even further

when pussy was not a punk, but power

womanhood was a valued treasure

and the measure of beauty

was not in the contours

of a drag queen’s face

Gracefully, we cross at the ankles

never taking calls after midnight

from men who are not our lovers




does not come from


Come with me if you do not mind

to a moment in time

when the daughters of the sun

know exactly who we are

where God is

and where God is not

And that if any man is so inclined

to look for God

he can find him in us


With the power to let loose a demon

with our fingertips

there is no need to fall as prey

to pimps and tricks

Silenced not by consensus but because 

we exist in the golden place

where truth is revealed to us


Here, we are loved by our family

for bringing them to life

and keeping them alive

We drink from a well 

of indigenous wisdom

to care for them

with healing brews 

of herbs and pot liquor

we are plugged in

downloading answers 

from the most high


And the music, 

and the music?

The music we dance to

is not skeeted upon walls

like sour milk 

to be lapped up by

mothers and daughters 

on capital alters


It is in the air between us

on energetic waves 

of electric conversations

our souls have with each other

that do not digress


We move to the pounding rhythm

of our man’s healthy organs

the throbbing pulse of his manhood

the beat in his chest

of our children’s laughter

hips giving birth to happiness

love on our lips before we lay


with our husbands

with our husbands

with our husbands


loving us under the law of God

awed by his masculinity

never giving in to less than we deserve

knowing his worth

we push our men to be stronger

building kings, we are proud to serve

kisses on our mouth before we part

he leaves for honest work

with his family’s respect in his heart


He always comes home


Before the Earth cracked open

and our self-respect fell in

we were only bitches

in defense of our children

and of the lives we built

with good men


by Jessica Holter


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