Woman In Dub

By Desiree C. Bailey

“I’m gonna put on an iron shirt and chase the devil out of earth.”
            — Lee “Scratch” Perry and Max Romeo

Side A.

The devil I see is the one I saw and nail out of fears   out of cycles of wound   dread calcifying into prophecy    I put on an iron shirt to face it chase it but the cop still piss drunk with power I put on an iron shirt but the men on the street surveil the nipple   been hounding my punani since             before I spilled my first blood   what a menace of a body   I hurl blame to the husk   is the devil real or is it of my fantastical making  the answer is not the matter   the fact of paranoia be the true violence   warfare: the very presence of the question        I want to peer inward   to take a good look at the soundsystem     my heartbeat echoing out of my folkloric thirst   my desperate belief in other realities   a B-side where I’m abolished from emotional labor aka black woman’s burden  free to surrender to my own madness  to sink down into the dub of it   stripped of my first voice   reverbing outside the pain of a body—

Side B.

            stripped of my first voice    

                                               down in the dub            cop hounds my blood    

into paranoia           a black reality            

                                                                      cycles spilled    

                 power husked
                                                                                         emotional woman I   I

I iron                            real street               folkloric and mad
                                                                                       tr tr trrrruuuueeee  

take a good look at the devil

                                                     peer into the dread   

men surrender to wound: drunk        calcified                                          but I   

                        fantastic
                                                          chasing echoes       

 nailed to system                                            free in sound

                                        I       a fact      

                                                             answer of my own making

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