How the Aquarian Celebrates His First Prolonged Yoga Headstand by Derrick Weston Brown

How the Aquarian Celebrates His First Prolonged Yoga Headstand.


After the many falls
& the sweat soaked t-shirts.

After getting my toe caught
in the air conditioner vent

After the steady hands of yogis
helped my tower of flesh stay steady.

After the many classes
& fighting back the bulb of fear in my throat.

After finally getting that goddamned
"tent with the hands" thing right.

After bruising my fingers when I rolled
on them with my ever complicated bulk

After quitting and staring at that
Agean sea blue yoga mat from my couch.

After relearning to fall &
relearning to fall & welcoming the falling

After the quiet tips about forearms
& peering through my locs curtaining my eyes

& watching all sizes & shapes of bodies
on YouTube hoist their heft onto their heads

Slow & salubrious like ice floes or
cloud formations ascending skyward:

I trusted everything about about my body:
every pound, each muscle, my arms,

my shoulders, the inherited wide hips I cursed
often, my breath, the core I thought did not

exist. I held it all. Folded myself. Built that
goddamned "tent with the hands" placed

my forehead like so, forearms steady
knees bent, then pressed up till my legs

were angled, walked them toes close to
my chest & breath after, breath, after breath,

Eyes closed & then the shift & lift
one foot off the ground & then the other

& raise after raise after raise
my legs twin brown beams up

in the air, teetering & my forearms
holding the weight of me

Me holding me. Up
My head & neck working in tandem.

Then I opened my eyes
my kitchen upside down

The familiar fridge, my sink, the paintings
stalactites my breath half pant half sob

I held for a forever minute
then bent my legs formed

a diamond, did not fall & raised
my legs straight again.

I was my own temple
smoked chestnut colored column

I lowered back down onto the mat
breathing hard feeling the blood

waterfall back down through my
body. Then I yelled " M*therf*cker

Slapped the mat &
wept in child's pose.


 Photo of Derrick Weston Brown, provided by PM Press. via Colorlines.com  

Learn more about Derrick Weston Brown- the poet, the author, the educator, and so much more.