Friday, July 26, 2019

To Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio

on the day you learned you whole name

when your lips were sticky with wet lihingmui and promise

do you remember the sparkle in your fathers eyes

when you could repeat he favorite 9 syllable song

i wish i could give you that sight back

on the mornings you feel empty

and not enough


when jamaica is insecurity overflowing from the body

i wish i could remind you of your center

your middle



the chant sung to the heavens

how your father plucked that name from his na'au between 'ōlelo classes and embodied memory

how he and your mother

imagined you

a song to sing into a new day

that would reach into the heavens but always land back on solid ground


‘Ae. Jamaica is the woman on stage

but you are her voice

her pen

her poem

Jamaica is the reason they come

but you are the reason they stay

you are the kuleana behind all the promise

all the misdirection


I want to show you how beautifully that light of you shines through

And even in your darkest moments

That your malu is a gift too


I know sometimes you feel like the worlds most successful fraud

like every ounce of koko in you is a betrayal to your tongue

i know sometimes you do not know where you're left after splitting hairs between legacy and desire

but there is a reason your brother is the gift, your sister is the memory

you are the voice caught between them

you are the reason the world will hear the story

I know this is not a gift as much as it is a burden 

But listen 

You are never alone 

Remember always the morning you sat beside the ahu at pu’uhuluhulu and called each kūpuna one by one as they sat beside you 

Or the morning you pulled the whole sun from the horizon with just your voice 

Or the morning you calmed the sea with just your breath

Or the time

You stoped a whole telescope with just your trembling body standing with your lāhui

These are the feats of memory that will always make you remarkable 

But remember they are also just one piece of your story

Mai Poina 

But always 

You you are all of this and Heolimeleikalani 

And all that song will always call upon 

“I am born again in the a’a”

No comments:

Post a Comment