Bare Bones

by Jessica Ice

A boardwalk on the edge of a river. Steep stone cliffs in the background.

I jumped into the river
bare
to cleanse myself
from you–
the centuries of
oppression left
embedded
within
my skin.

I immersed my head
beneath the current,
to hear my
ancestors
calling,
hoping the
water would
reverse
within
the violence
of their
Baptism.

oh river,
take me back
before the raping
of the islands,
when women
were revered
as Priestess,
spiritual leaders
of the
People,

before
mystical healers
became a threat
to Christ
and
fed like martyrs
to the
crocodiles.

I dove down deep to
find them–
the women of my
lineage,
praying their bones
would
come to life,
come
and resuscitate
my own.

Jessica Ice
Jessica is a friend, poet and peace activist. She received her BA in Biblical and Theological Studies from Fresno Pacific University and is currently studying to become a yoga teacher. Her first collection of poetry, a field called peace will be published soon. You can find her on instagram at jess.ice_writes.

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