Maybe I am being sensitive but when
C is teaching our Sunday morning Black-Lesbians-
Only-Group about silkworms, I become anxious.
We are curling over ourselves, watching
through computer screens: a video of women’s hands
laying out carpets and carpets of mulberry leaves
for their tiny kin to gorge themselves on.
Over and over again, layers of excessive
nourishment, the love language of mothering I know
like my own sore mouth. The silkworms
shed, almost pink with new innocence, and
make a show of cocooning: wiggling around
figure-eighting the air, preparing for
new-body-days, not knowing that everything ends here:
steamed, boiled or baked in the
hottest sun. The silk, carefully
unstuck from the almost-was-wings,
is threaded into infinite loops
while split screen a bombyx mori emerges
from its cocoon to find her mate waiting,
and soon enough, is laying a cluster of blond eggs.
The video ends and I stare at the other women
in blue light, we each open our mouths
at the same time but only a groomed silence flies out.
- There are no more silkworms in the wild - July 19, 2021