An essay by Courtney Desiree Morris on Louisiana, her grandmother, drugs, feeling alive, and finding one’s queer tribe.

I roll my hips like the Mississippi, joints loose and easy, feeling light and free. I cannot remember the last time I felt this way. That makes me sad. I accept this insight and let it go as quickly as it comes. I am here in my body right now, and I am dancing like a bad bitch. The beat drops into a smooth bassline as I sweat the grief out. I dance for my grandmother. I dance for the elders in the synagogue. I dance for Ntozake. I dance for all the Black women I know dying from cancer and strokes and stress and sadness. I dance and dance and dance and laugh and celebrate and feel my aliveness.

Cheri Lucas Rowlands

Cheri has been an editor at Longreads since 2014. She's currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area.