This is blood-warm, the heat

of night closing in like a mob. Bribe

the sun to set on you instead, let

it light you aflame.

 – from “Geophagia” by Taylor Byas

Hypothetically speaking, where do the prayers go? Where does time go? What happens when one part of the population wants the other to disappear? What happens when Whiteout lingers too long over black ink? It clumps, it dries, curdles, waits to be scraped away, redone if needed. It’s culture in the form of cover up – a sense of control, even when it makes no sense. 

Taylor Byas’ achingly beautiful, Bloodwarm (Variant Lit) reminds us that there is actually a history; that a reference point exists for all the hatred that strips more than melanin from skin. This is not Byas’ battle cry for a “sudden rewrite” of history, but rather a warning that what we’ve been through, we’ve already been through, and unless we are truly, as people, as society, as individuals, begin to understand their backgrounds.

Having spent the last 20 years as an educator to the leaders, believers, and followers of tomorrow, Bloodwarm has the ability to turn heads, create conversation, and lead you toward change. It’s not going to scrape away at all of the Whiteout, but it will chip away enough to see what truth lies just under the surface. 

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