Curvaceous Black Sappho in White Shoes – By Ali Znaidi

Curvaceous Black Sappho in White Shoes



(After Nona Faustine’s Photograph, “From My Body

I Will Make Monuments In Your Honour”)



Through the refraction of sunlight a new morning shines

in the cemetery that once swallowed three slaves. Her

statue-like three-dimensional body is posited like Gaia.

A confident brave body; dark but rinsed and rinsed in

light and life: A synopsis of authenticity. When the graves

whisper the slaves’ names she just stares straight ahead

dipping her body into the vaporous burial garden. The heat

settles on her skin and her body delights in the horizon.

She is wildly sprinkling sizzle across the landscape and

she is howling. Howls are part of herself. That’s why she

doesn’t mind so much the sweating. Her body swells like

an inexhaustible water spring. Lightning issues from her

foamy tongue. The earth trembles with her roars of rage.

Although ample memories of the past reverberate through

her curves, she’s present tense.—A body confronting the

tough reality of the now. She has no weapon but a pair of

white high-heeled shoes: A synopsis of sublime highness.

She plants her fears and sadness in between the dunes of

her body.—That the body is the self, and the self is the voice.

There is no cotton anymore. Face is covered, but the ears

are wide open to hear the oracles of the sky and those

of the underground. Her body is chanting the slaves’ sighs.

Her body is tolling like a bell: a farewell to fears / farewells

to fear! Although she’s been silently screaming the litany of

abuses that she inherited with this body, this body is but a

shrilling voice enough to make monuments. A body that

rhymes with any word that is against any coercive aesthetics.