God showed me how I was made last night.
She came to me in a dream, all barefoot and African regal,
And She told me that I am a bomb.
I am the nuclear explosion that will drive out the dark.
I have Napalm on my tongue and a fuse in my mind;
God told me that I was designed to speak fire into the air of Her Earth.
She said that on the sixth morning, She used a yam tree to pick out Her afro,
Spun up the sand of the desert to don Her most beautiful kente.
She lined Her eyes with molten obsidian,
And placed a canyon between the pearls of her teeth.
The Lord spake unto the trees with a voice that trembled their roots.
“There exists too much silence on my Earth,” She said.
“My Earth needs some loud. My Earth needs some spark.”
So God reached down into the core of Her creation
And She halted time at the point that all things fall apart and come together.
Her fingers, with bones of diamond and skin of steel, molded a heart
Out of metal and glass and combustion and light.
She smoothed it over with a paste made from the million universes in the soil
Held together by the infinities of joyous raindrops.
God brought the rotting wood from all the ships lesser deities sailed on her soul
And the curved the boards around a gust of stardust She’d captured in the sleeve of her cloth
Way back in Her beginning and decided to save for Her greatest masterpiece.
The Lord dragged her toes through Andromeda and fashioned a thick mane of hair
So wild that no man would be brave enough to tame it.
Then she whispered a word that means death in every tongue
Sewed it onto a patchwork of life’s meaning and folded it a hundred times
Before it was small enough to fit in the temple between my temples.
God lifted Her creation to Her face and told me that my feet would guide me over the surface of Her Earth
Because the precious gems that would make up my shrapnel are to be felt and not seen.
She told me that she created time for me, so that my glory would have something to challenge it.
The Lord made me promise that I wouldn’t forget to detonate.
She created me with the intent of combustion; blasting bits of me all over the faces of men,
Permeating the eardrums of the creatures She allowed me to name.
God made me swear to be the acid rain against every green leaf,
The sharp thorn that dug into every fleshy side, the poison that eliminates the weeds from the flowers.
I gave her my word. She smiled in the way that causes comets to divorce themselves from the Heavens and the sun to shine at night.
God said, “Let there be you.” And there was me. And She saw me. And I was good.
Ten Things You Taught Me
1. As an artist, when I see a blank canvas, I automatically project my heaven and my hell onto it.
I deal more in watercolor abstract than digital clarity, and that’s probably why I thought you were a butterfly in the distance and not a shadow on the ground.
Your love planted a garden of doubt and the flowers are beautiful, but now I can’t breathe.
2. Your mouth was like the Big Bang.
You were the type to destroy me with a word but create me with a smile.
Black holes are actually a kind of star; I learned that the first time the boiling cosmos in your veins begged me to stay.
3. Climbing into bed with someone who used to love you is okay.
Letting them trace the lines of your body like the map to Atlantis is not.
Loving you taught me that people are not Braille; you need not touch them to know them.
4. Letting me believe that Atlantis exists nowhere else but in your skin is not okay.
5. Our time together taught me that my body is not a hotel. Not a townhouse. Not a place to lease.
My worth is not determined by those who want to live inside me.
6. The pile of charred bones is not a Holy Mecca, not an ossuary for you to pilgrimage to in order to find yourself.
I am a thunderstorm. A hurricane.
It is not my purpose to be shelter to someone else.
7. I am still worthy of a life without you.
I will not allow your bad love to make a museum out of me.
I am still good. I am still valuable. I am still beautiful.
8. You will always be beautiful.
This does not mean that I should have you.
9. When I lay down to sleep at night, the front door will not be unlocked for you.
Monsters under my bed don’t compare to the horror I let into my heart, and I will never let anyone catch me unaware again.
10. The day I return everything you ever gave me, know that I have left every inch of us within those cardboard confines.
Every hollow “I love you”, every bone-dry “goodnight”.
Every “we’re just friends anyway” that turned my stomach will be accounted for.
Because my heart is only so big, and hoarding those moments will never fix now.
All it will do is keep the next person to wade through the mess you made from ever finding me, and I refuse to allow my life to become a monument to the battle of your failed experimentation, so please.
I don’t have the space anymore.
Mia S. Willis has worked primarily in performance-based poetry since her introduction to the art in 2013. The current President of East Carolina University’s Word of Mouth poetry organization, Mia is the 2016 ACUI College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational Head to Head Haiku Slam Champion. Her first published poem, This Is A Chemical Burn, placed 3rd in the Poetry category of the North Carolina College Media Association 2015 Statewide College Media Awards. A senior at ECU, Mia will graduate in May 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and a Bachelor of Arts in Multidisciplinary Studies – Classical Civilization. When not onstage, she enjoys reading and watching Sherlock Holmes adaptations, mountain biking, and volunteering with her fellow Brothers of Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity, Inc.’s Kappa Upsilon chapter.
Though not currently booking, Mia can be reached via:
Facebook: Mia Willis