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How I Learned the Power of Pussy Prayer

“I’m sorry Ms. Jackson, I am forreal…” booms from Ronald’s country home when I arrive to his house. I am 14. It is the family reunion weekend. I tell him that I’m coming by to spend time together before the family gathering later in the evening.

I lied. I didn’t come to bond over “what I’ve done since the last reunion” stories. I am coming to his house because I want my pussy back.

Ronald wore a white tank-top, denim shorts, with a gold-plated dog chain around his neck. For an hour, he smiled and laughed. He asked casual questions about my life while I stared blankly at the silver knife in the kitchen.

This is how it should have happened: I tell him how he used to be my favorite cousin before he molested me. I raise my hand, high above my head, and smack him. I scream until empty of pain, about how I can still feel his fingers pressing into my 7-year-old body that Thanksgiving.

I’ll be free. I’ll have my pussy back.

Since Ronald, I’ve detached myself from my pussy. When I ran away at 12, I exchanged it for places to stay. When I felt suicidal, I exchanged it for late-night embraces to feel loved. When I needed safety, I exchanged it to have men with big sex drives and bigger guns. Before I learned about periods, I learned that pussy is a tool. Commodity. Trade.

A year later, it is an August summer day, and people are arriving to my aunt’s house for the annual family reunion. My aunts, uncles, and cousins, exchange hugs, unload platters of soul food, and talk in their Virginian drawl.

“Hey cuz,” someone says, gravel-voiced.

“Hey Ronald,” I respond flatly.

“It’s been a while, cousin, how you holding up?”

He reaches for an embrace, and as this is a joyous occasion of fish frys, line dancing, and generational tales—there is no space for the truth. He smells of musk and sweat.

“You miss me?” he asks. I smirk, and ease from his grasp.

We are living as though we never touched. The truth is becoming smaller, further backwards in time; my body is growing larger, forward in time.

A high school boyfriend reminded me that I never had an orgasm: “are you comfortable?” he asked. My legs wrapped tense around him, face scrunched between moaning and melancholy. My back arched from the bed, not in a curved stretch of ecstasy, but a stretch of skepticism. How could I trust someone enough to moan, fully from within? Had I ever let my back relax and feel the cool silk of bedroom sheets?

“Yes,” I shook my head and loosened the grip of my legs. “I’m comfortable.”

I honestly never considered how comfortable I should feel during sex.

The next family reunion, we are driving through the countryside of Suffolk to the hotel, when Ronald’s mother shamefully announces, “Ronald is locked up.”

The family concern springs into action, “What? What happened? How long is his sentence?”
“I don’t know what my son got himself into,” she says as she turns into the hotel parking lot.

“We got to pray for him, that’s what family has to do,” another aunt says. I snuff at the idea of prayer for Ronald. I cross my legs and fold into myself.

When we arrive, the family packs the hotel entrance, drinking coolers and laughing with matching blue shirts that read – “Wilson Family Reunion – 45th Anniversary.”

My older brother is home watching TV when I come home from school. I drop my bags, pour a glass of fruit-punch and sit next to him.

“You remember that time you caught me having sex in the backyard?”

He cuts me a weary eye. “Is that what you were doing?”

“That’s why I was bleeding in the bathroom when I came in the house,”

“I thought that was your period.”

“No,” I laugh. “I shouldn’t have done that.”

“Was it with that guy that come here that morning? How old was he?”
“19.”

He counts the years. “He should have gone to jail.”

“Yeah,” I sigh. “I’ve been meaning to tell mama this,”

He looks towards me, finger hovering on the remote. “What?”

“Ronald used to touch me.”

Silence falls. The TV channel never changes.

It has been years, and Ronald is locked up—that’s the initial reason some people feel like there’s nothing to be done about the molestation. We’re adults. It’s over. You’ve went from clear lip gloss to burgundy lipstick, you’ve been a woman for a long time, they insinuate. But, my pussy remembers. I remember. Molestation is momentary, but it’s effects are monumental. As we learn the pain of fire, our bodies learn the pain of people. We remember when we are touched—by God or by the devil.

I’m walking to my evening university class, when I receive the notification. “Ronald Wilson sent you a friend request.”

I accept.

Nights later, I light three candles, play a vinyl record, and get undressed. I sit naked on the floor with a mirror in front of me. I look deeply at my body: my full breasts, the curve of my womb, acquired scars, and the brown-pink colors of my labia. I wonder how my pussy feels about itself, so I listen to it.

About an hour into meditation, a sense of beauty flushes over me. It is gold and as warm as hands near a crackling fire. Within myself, I can feel past partners. In silence, I feel the spirit of them.

I am compelled to talk to my womb:

“I pray for the healing, transformational and creative power of you. I pray that we stay aligned with the moon. I pray that we are healed and that all energy that enters and exits you is cleansed and given life. I’m sorry for hurting you. I love you.”

This is the first time I don’t think of my pussy as a penetrable hole, but as a black hole. Pussy prayer is less about sex and more about what we use for sex: passion, energy, creativity, and life. Pussy prayer is a way to honor one of human beings’ closest ways to the Ether—where before life and afterlife rest. Pussy is a portal to God. As we worship the Creator, we worship where the Creator sends creations through.

It is about midnight, when we fall onto burgundy sheets, bodies sweaty and ablaze with each other’s vibration. My lipstick is red now, and this is the man who my back relaxes for. Sometimes, we pray before sex. We say affirmations during sex. We do rituals after sex: we lay under each other’s noses, softly rub our toes, make finger-shapes on each other’s chest.
He kisses my forehead and places his hand on my womb.

“During sex, do you know where we traveled to?” I look up at him.

“No, but I was there with you.”

My pussy clenches—and something finally releases.

Fire Angelou is a Black-American writer from Baltimore, MD. She is the editor-in-chief of Daughters of The Diaspora where she covers arts, culture, Black Consciousness, The African Diaspora, and womanhood. Follow her @fireangelou

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