Nancy Wallace-Nelson "Black Madonna at the Crossroads"
Black Madonna, bright ruby cheeks, your hooded eyes look downward to an inner search. Six glittered vulvae, shining on your halo of metallic strength, delineate your crown. Your long elegant earrings echo your vulvar shapeliness. With peaceful, prayerful look, you guard your simmering potency, as you sit shaded within the golden aura of your vine-strewed chapel. Your lighted shrine is shaped as the base of a windmill, for windmills, just as women, are built to withstand life’s storms and to generate fecund energy. Black Madonna, you rest within a box confessional at the apex of your chapel, silent, strong observer of cultural maelstrom swirling on all sides, the tools of seduction flying round you on the arms of the windmill gone awry. Breast enhancement; depilation; premier black rum; and sweet dark brown cigars; negligees and robes, black and red, the reputed colors of seduction. Serene and sheltered, you wait upon those of your sisterhood who choose to climb the steps of feminine charms to offer at your altar their worries, hopes and dreams. Have they enhanced their breasts large enough to make a successful siren calls to lovers? Have they depilated enough parts of their bodies of that shameful hair said to embarrass? And are they willing to kneel upon their smooth-ed knees to worship the phallus, and suck its holy juices as Senoritas, cigars and women both, get sucked of theirs? Have they done their hair and garments with just the right balance of sexual allure and open invitation, yet elegance and demure propriety as well? And do they have enough dark phallic Senoritas to offer for the lover’s after-sex smokes? And Pere Kermann’s dark rhum for the lover’s before-sex enhancement drink? “Customer,” I almost wrote, not “lover.” In our consumerist world gone mad with bold advertisement for everything sexual, can all the differences between free lover and paying customer stay clear? Women today can look at the world more boldly and flaunt their sexuality more brazenly, but still they’re caught in the paradox of virgin/whore/wife /whore/mother/whore dilemmas. Black Madonna, you rest in solid aloneness at the crossroads, the vortex of those dilemmas, at that meeting place of opposites where we find answers hidden from accustomed view. Oh, Black Madonna, may you come to share what you see with all your sisters. Gorgeous as they are, may they learn to claim their inner beauty and their natural charms, and may they step out of their perfectly-rounded mirrors and glittered boxes, able to make free, joyous choices about their bodies, apart from societal duress, and rest serene as you.
Robert Rhoades Rites of Passage mixed media
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