sacred space by Louisa Adjoa Parker

it’s a muscle memory, hands rising skywards
like a pair of birds, hairs rising as you hear
the beat, it’s goosebumps then fissures
which split your skin apart. it’s your head moving

from side to side (although your brain
didn’t tell it to), lips breaking into a smile.
it’s memories of a long-gone youth, a life before
motherhood, before that: ancestral memories

trapped in your DNA like insects suspended
in amber. it’s sky and mud and trees
and coloured lights and love. it’s the sound
of morning birdsong. it’s being in a space

where you can just be you and fuck the system
(and, most definitely, the police). it’s hoods
and caps and baggy clothes and snaking arms
and writhing limbs. it’s knowing that this time

is ours, and we are free, and this is now!
it’s dancing under a black sky pinpricked with stars,
watching as it turns to pink. it’s forget the come-down,
don’t think about it now. there’ll be tea

and buttered toast and fags and mates
to help work through the malaise.
it’s drum ‘n’ bass and acid house. it’s knowing
there’s no better feeling than dancing

to a timeless beat, with dots of glowing light
encircling us like tiny fires, giant speakers
pumping out that rhythmic bass, which pours
over you and into you like honey.  

it’s feet encased in unlaced boots
shuffling on the rugged earth, hands raised
as though towards a god, heart filled with love,
foreign substances rushing through our blood.

it’s as though the DJ is a shaman, guiding us
to spirit worlds, hands spinning black vinyl
into the purest form of love. it’s remembering
how we wore the land as though it were a second skin,

we owned the rivers and the riverweed, the fields
and woods and sea and sand, us in our hoodies,
fat spliffs in hand, puffing out smoke like teenagers
on fire, and i was no longer the black stranger,

dark cloud in everybody’s midst, but a part
of everything. it’s the timeless sound of waves,
crashing on black rocks. it’s wild grasses
blowing in the wind. it’s the rustling of leaves

as trees watch over us, the secrecy – free party,
where? and the driving dangerously fast
down unlit country lanes to gather in
a sacred space, where we dared to dream.

it’s everything and nothing and the spaces
in between. it’s a story i was part of, a then
and now; long gone but, as i am reminded,
still here, as i watch the screen.