One Day Our Bodies Will Truly Be Free

By: Arielle Taitano Lowe
Democracy and Community
Malak Na Puti'on Tåsi | Monaeka (Naek) Flores
Ceramic, mineral stain, locally sourced clay, 2016

Your body is an island.
Trace its belonging
in this archipelago —
Southernmost of
fifteen sisters: Låguas yan Gåni.
Your grandmother’s
And great grandmother’s
And great great grandmother’s home.
I tano’-ta i tataotao-mu.
The land is your body.
I tasi i hagå-mu.
The ocean is your blood.
I aire na’mongmong i korason-mu.
The air beats life into your heart.
Pues na’tungo’ este hagå-hu.
So know this:

That when they come for your body,
extract limestone forest like harvesting organs,
pour toxins into our ocean like poison into your bloodstream,
carve out lifeblood coral gardens like a uterine invasion
until all that is left is your bones,

I will stand here, resisting,
so that there will always be
an abundance of kåna for you to inherit.

Sumay. Apapa.
Pågan. Litekyan.

They’ll never take away your genealogy.
They’ll never take away your name.
An archipelago of ocean,
fifteen sisters reunited,
i taotao tåno,
sovereign —
Our island is your body.
It will be your daughter’s body,
And your daughter’s daughter’s body.
One day our bodies will truly be free.
Democracy and Community