How To Fly

By Tracey Coretta Ferdinand

"You wanna fly? You gotta give up the shit that weighs you down.” Toni Morrison

break your bones.
the shit weighing you down
seeped into your bones. 
yes, it'll be painful.
not the romantic, dramatic,
hollywood kind of pain. 
no, this pain doesn't look pretty,
isn't proper,
did not graduate
from the school of respectability. 
this pain is filthy with puffy,
red light district eyes,
clumps of mucus
sprawled out on nose and lip. 
this pain is the devil,
naked, cookin chitlins
on your heart.

break your bones.
leave your house
for the weekend.
channel Virginia Wolf
put Clenora Hudson-Weems
on the bottom shelf and get a room
of your own.
if you don't have the money
rearrange your budget.
hold off on fixing your car.
tell Sallie Mae you are smart.
you are choosing a different option.
go to a bed and breakfast.
a space free of fear
clouding your thoughts.
a space where you can create
new magic.
give the cat to your neighbor.
send the kids to your mama. steal away.

steal away and sit in silence.
no tv, no music, no computer.
just the golden morning light
dancing through your window
the sound of your breath singing.
breathe deeper.
devour the air.
let your lungs earn their stay.
clear a space to welcome your serenity.
remember that even the unintentional chaos
of others can tear at your skin.
your blood can still drip from their hands
whether or not they meant to hurt you.
so be vigilant.
guard your serenity like church women
are taught to guard their purity.

break your bones. 
do something new. 
take a yoga class. 
if you've already taken a yoga class
try a different school. 
try a different teacher. 
take a class with that instructor with tattoos
for sleeves. 
yes, he says “fuck” during poses
but he is genuine. 
you can hear it in his eyes.
when he points out
that your eagle pose is good...believe him.

break your bones.
don’t limp through
life crippled
by the social hate
and self hate
poisoning your bones. 
break your bones,
so you can heal.

Tracey Coretta Ferdinand holds a Master's Degree in Africana Women's Studies from Clark Atlanta University and a Bachelor's Degree in English from Ursinus College. She is also a certified 200 hour vinyasa yoga instructor. Her mission is to encourage women and girls to cultivate vibrant lives by exploring creative wellness practices. Tracey Coretta loves the sun, the ocean and lush plants. When she's not outside celebrating her divinity in nature, she's writing, cooking or practicing yoga. Born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago, Tracey Coretta is currently based near Philadelphia.