Poetry by Akosua Gyameah
Smooth velvet decadence
drank hot. On an autumn eve
best shared between lovers and
binged when your heart is breaking.
The Mayans served the drink during betrothal
The Olmecs preferred a mix with corn and chilli peppers
The Aztecs believed and named it so,
“Food of the Gods”.
My relatives in Ghana and Cote D’ivoire
know the secrets of the fruit
that has outlived Empires
They coax brown magic out of the land
with veined hands and back breaking labor
They earn pennies
and create wealth, yet
many have never tasted chocolate.
I am far far away in a strange land
away from the lush spindly treetops and
fleshy cocoa pods, but I do not forget
that chocolate is family and sacrifice
and history and story and sweat
and ragged economic policies
and a very tender dedication to the earth.
The kra of Africans cannot be crushed by colonialism
Do you not know?
Did our Ancestors not tell you that our bones were
Formed with rhythm?
That our feet were carved from wood?
We bleed blood and water
We eat fire and stone
My African People have a history of scars
We have been bruised with the knives of misery
and conquest, but our spirits remain strong
For our Gods are older, and our histories are richer
Do they not know?
Did our Ancestors not tell them that we can even eat the sun?
That our skins are black from too much God. That the
Clouds are our fellow deities. And that our souls are sung
From the very essence that is music
We will be your Gods.
Akosua is a child of Ghana and the United States. She is currently finishing a BA in African Studies at Columbia University. In her free time, Akosua enjoys taking photographs and staring longingly at the Hudson River. She exists on social media as @palmwinegal.
Originally published January 9, 2020