jumatatu
poe

photo by Tayarisha Poe

i am learning to speak better portuguese, and remembering that words are deceptively indiscrete and imperfect. remembering that, even when speaking the same language, we all have our own languages. the smells i smell when i fix my mouth to say “authentic,” or “branding,” or “African,” or “viado,” or “love”… they might evoke totally different smells in the nose of the listener, totally different remembered images hiding within the phonetics of each syllable. i am remembering how important it is for me to remember how much i don’t know, how much i will not know, and how long it takes to get to know someone. and someone else. and then, how much people change. i love to get right up on people in my work… look right at you, be close enough for you to smell my odors, test the silent contracts we are each assuming are in place as i see how much we will allow ourselves to know one another in a moment of performance. i will wonder, just hard enough, what you feel in your body as you see me emphasize the s-curve of my lower back into my high booty, or heave my chest up and down in time with the heavy presses of my feet into the ground. i will keep in mind, in body, that tightrope between “exploring” and “trespassing,” and try to keep a balance, even as i’m resisting the implicit notions of ownership of space that are hiding in the syllables of trespassing… i may have to just stop everything for a moment and sit down next to you and be quiet. and listen to that together.

All You Need Is Love
by Jup do Bairro, Rico Dalasam, and Linn da Quebrada