Decolonisation Love Song

decolonisation love song

Huriana Kopeke-Te Aho is takatāpui activist, “artist” & survivor currently residing in Tāmaki Makaurau. They whakapapa to Tuhoe, Ngati Porou, Rongowhakaata, Te Ati Haunui-a-Paparangi & Ngati Kahungungu Ki Wairoa. Their special interests include decolonisation & indigenous resistance, prison abolition and talking shit about the illegitimate settler state.  

 

Decolonised love is a radical act

 

Decolonised love is a howl and a scream

 

Decolonised love is this:

 

some stories have more space to exist than others, some stories were destroyed completely, they took so much more than land.

 

I keep thinking about how arohanui is so different to i love you

How tapu doesn’t really mean sacred

How wairua doesn’t really mean spirit

But we have to translate the feeling behind the language so that the colonisers understand.

 

These are hands that are always shaking

 

This is a body that never healed

 

but they tell me, my grief is so beautiful, we have never seen this type of heartache

please teach us, please teach us how to hurt like you

 

Sometimes I can’t tell the difference between the hurt and the history, between a war cry and a mourning song, between my hands and theirs.

My mother said: always love your big feet, always love your big hands, always love your big head, they are so sacred.

 

Love your brown skin,

always.

 

Love your brown skin,

always.

 

Love your brown skin,

always.

 

I want to tell you

 

I want to tell you that when you lie with me, the weight of our histories seem a little less heavy, at least in this small moment and I am so grateful.

 

I want to tell you that there is something so beautiful about our brown bodies together.

 

I want to tell you that Aotearoa is a land full of ghosts but when I’m here with you, I feel a little less haunted.

 

Do you know how safe i feel with you?

 

Do you know how safe i feel with you?

 

Do you know how safe i feel with you?

 

When you touch me, it feels like rapture

When you touch me, it doesn’t hurt to remember

When you touch me, my tupuna cry.

 

They whisper

 

“They are safe here with this one,

they are safe here with this one,

they are safe here with this one and we are so glad.”

 

When we fuck it is a chorus, it is a small stirring wind, it is mourning for all the ones that came before.

 

It is all of our ancestors coming together.

 

We bury them here

 

in all our soft thighs, big hands, wide flat noses pressed to high cheekbones, brown skin on brown skin on brown skin on brown skin.

 

Our bodies together is a eulogy,

our bodies together is an ancient love song,

our bodies together is revolutionary,

our bodies together is a small act of resistance.

 

I am safe here with this one,

I am safe here with this one,

I am safe here with this one and I am so glad.

 

You tell me my scars look like the confiscation lines.

 

They do to our bodies what they did to the land

 

You trace them and say: you are not theirs.

 

I am not theirs they had no right to claim me.

 

I am not theirs they had no right to claim me.

 

I am not theirs they had no right to claim me.

 

When we are together, I remember the old stories,

 

You are always calling me home,

 

Kei te aroha au ki a koe

 

(i love you)

 

Kaua e tangi

 

(Don’t cry)

 

Kaua e haere

 

(don’t go)

 

Haere mai ki konei

 

(come here)

 

Korero mai

 

(talk to me)

 

You are my manu tioriori, my songbird.

 

You are my Hina-keha, my light in the dark.

 

You are my matariki, you bring new and precious things.

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Comments

  1. Ngā mihi aroha ki ā koe Huriana. Kia mau te wehi. He tino ataahua ngā kōrero nei. Mama B

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