Libeté

I scream libete
Like being an isolated child
floating between Islands and America indicates freedom

maybe it’s my ancestor’s memory
maybe it’s the generational awakening
maybe it’s my guides saying LEVE

From this false-security-filled-slumber
dozing through the inability for strong enough rituals
to protect and pray over
every black child, womxn, and mxn

Sometimes I call myself bourgeois
            As if it’s something my dad
            would be proud of
Displaying how well assimilation has fractured me
As if being less country
more city is a celebration

As if this is not a recollection of conquests
As if the blood staining from my cut fingers
hide the colonization cosplaying as independent territory

what is an independent territory

but an excavation of resources in the slapping of parentheses and debt

it doesn’t get any more diaspora than this:

having to stop
in the middle of frying
platano maduro
to write this poem

I say
I wrote this poem
as if my ancestors didn’t scream
at me to do it Hiding all traces of my magical lineage for conformity
as if that makes it more palatable

I have been scattered – like ancestral ashes
existing in this
dispersing-

brainwashing –
kidnapping –
ceaseless murders of my own –
genocide

isn’t it fitting?

To be so connected the spirits in me rise
Rebellion in my bones
at the
Televised diminishing of black souls, put on loop,
until I cannot recognize the humanity in myself.

Screaming libeté – freedom
desperate to know what liberation looks like
beyond the hollowing simplicity of survival.


Lysz Flo is an Afro-Latinx, trilingual spoken word artist, author of fiction and poetry, member of The Estuary Collective, podcast host of Creatively Exposed, and Voodoonauts Summer 2020 Fellow. She released her poetry novel, Soliloquy of an Ice Queen, March 2020. She is an online crystal and spiritual wellness shop owner at Astrolyszics.com.