PROTEA | Protea Cynaroides

photography by Kylie Murrin

photography by Kylie Murrin

By. Thea Matthews

the original Flesh



Flower boiling from kinship 

Source of civilization

of etiquette

of elegance

families derive from Her spine 

nations grow from Her womb

She knows every langue 

every intonation 

every pause given to silence

Her screams rattle spirits in bodies 

Her cries expel the wicked

She spits white phlegm into the fire

She is the Mother who knows

Her children have been wounded / households infiltrated 

She roars


emanates Life in spite of extinction

She survives 


cradles humanity in Her arms

no one / nothing can kill Her. 

Thea Matthews writes on the complexities of humanity, grief, and ultimately the triumph over trauma. Born and raised in San Francisco, CA, Thea is a seasoned performer, an activist, curator, and scholar of African and Mestizo descent.  You can find more of Thea’s work published in our print issue 2: Power. Shop Now.