i resisted you for a while
and now that i’m letting you back in,
you seem to flood and nourish my insides
like much-needed rain.
old tricks no longer put me to sleep–
fingers can get sticky
and room can begin to fill with
aromatic citrus sweet musk;
body can relax,
but mind and heart fills up
Once in a while, I will become engaged in a poetry conversation with a friend (usually initiated by me, lol). I LOVE when this happens because it keeps me on my toes and allows me to be inspired by other artists. I am currently in conversation with a talented brother of mine, Under_Score. I’m posting my most recent response to him, but you can check it out on his blog (in the comments section) by clicking here. Enjoy!
helplessly hoping that
the intangibility of nature
will make itself surface as real:
dead skin cells once invisible
appear, shed and reveal
where my eyes have landed,
and created futures imagined–
cool minty breath in summer heat
show water reflections of
still then shaking,
blowing in wind that hugs corners
and causes drafts through doorways
to the flame of my desire.
to be a hair follicle under the skin
of his shaved chin
would bring me close to him
as i sprout out
and get closer to his mouth
through a subtle kiss.
and what of rain?
cloudy skies to mask tears of mine
shed from heartbreak and love,
making my hair and heart curl up,
filling me so love never dries up,
just becomes a well for
and other life and such.
but always breeding,
a circle of life lived
and beyond my control.
i’m happy you’re my baby.
you got me feeling lucky–
no snake eyes with these dice,
all i’m rolling is sevens.
who thought a rainy day
could still feel like heaven?
you had me open since day 11
minus the one on the end.
when i looked in your eyes,
i saw the future as more than just friends.
i never thought i’d feel this way again,
never thought i’d not have to pretend
or sway in the wind
of scar-filled memories.
with you i have new leaves
and they’re greener than the greenest green.
i’m higher than when i smoke marijuana trees
this relationship is so obsene,
more beautiful than 1,000 sunsets
next to the sea of bliss in which we’re swimming
and this is only the beginning.
on November 4, 2008,
the evening of election day
CNN projected that Barack Obama
was the candidate
who had won.
surrounded by cheers, i couldn’t celebrate,
sayin, “these suckas done stole the election once”
so i’ll scream and shed tears when this whole thing is done–
afraid to get my hopes up
because hope takes audacity
and when i look at history,
we were dismissed.
defined as inferior,
spent days familiar
with crops, working fields,
rarely seeing interiors,
unless it was the interior
of slave shacks, you know,
nights with master on slave woman’s back,
birthing babies that lacked
a sense of family
because brokenness was the system,
spreading confusion so that to be black
almost equated with being victim;
pulled from homelands and sold on blocks
was the way to do things,
auctioning off humans like art or antique rings.
we were beaten,
scars forming shapes of trees on backs
with branches not long enough for us to climb
but deep enough for them to find
their way into souls that birthed generations of babies
still feeling the sting of whips.
we were whipped into shape
on the day emancipation came
so slaves became men,
no longer four fifths
just always dismissed,
debt staying constant
no money in pockets,
still poor but at least there was a trap door
that could be closed and opened at night
to see crosses burning at night
who knew shadows could be white?
“Mama, they look like ghosts…”
threatened hearts beat with fright
and sometimes they even cry
but you can’t hear them as well
when vocal cords are constricted by ropes
as unprotesting eyes look forward.
but we had to look back,
thirsty, but certain water fountains would lack
the fluid to match our skin color;
so we had to look back,
to learn what happens to dreams deferred and wonder if they fester;
so we had to look back
to brave souls like soldiers who sat at segregated lunch counters;
so we had to look back,
to hear the voices of prophets like Dr. King,
turning our ears to the past
so that we could hear freedom ring
and echo in our dreams and perhaps become fact.
look back to Malcolm X and his place in history,
even if you don’t agree,
he inspired our reality.
we were beautiful,
growing stronger with each casualty,
pulling strength from the act of burying,
being replenished by hoses with water pressuring
us to stop
but the clock ticked on.
we were beautiful and so was black
and we were vocal, using platforms to speak so many truths
that lies got scared and shook in their boots
and found a way to crack us–
crack broke some backs of us,
money ruled some of the best of us,
and soon our scariest enemies were…us.
but us wasn’t all bad and never was,
because all that there ever was
to identify us was our skin
and that one drop of blood,
like light rain on a window pane
romantic to some, but to others
it’s just rain,
without which the earth couldn’t survive.
showers on our heads keep dreams alive,
but sometimes i stay dry,
feeling that it’s better to suffocate hope
than try to keep her alive
but on that night,
November 4, 2008
tears filled my eyes and the weather changed
and the course of history finally turned the page.
no longer did i have to look back,
thinking of the way we were
but i had to look forward.
i had to look forward
with binoculars on my eyes,
seeing the prospect of a black president
the spirit of yes we can, yes we did
and we’ll do it again;
fueled by inspiration,
truth defying times are in my eyes,
joy fills my heart
and my soul cries out with gratitude
oh the magnitude
of what we used to be
and what we have become.
i need rain,
but not the kind i have felt before.
i don’t want cold, slanted drops hitting my face
in a conspiracy to make me colder.
i need condensation of relaxation,
showers of inhale-exhale-inhale-exhale breathing,
umbrella weather of honoring me.
i’m so dehydrated,
dizzy from daily activities
and in need of nourishment to bring my heart
back to beating normally.
i need raindrops falling on my head to consume me
so that i want to go outside in it
and maybe even dance
and maybe have a chance of beating my dry spell
so that i can make it to the next harvest
without worry, insecurity, and stress.
even though it’s cold outside,
i crave spring-time love.
not out of necessity,
but the pure, simple complexity:
energy rushing through the beats in my chest
and spreading to an extra sway in my hips
and curve in my smile
and spark in my eye.
even though my skin is now dry,
i feel like sticky pre-summer nights that never end,
where the sky stays the same foggy blue for hours
and midnight conversations buzz
and enlighten in my ears
i wish it could be spring all year…
the beginning of flings and i don’t even care
if they disappear by Labor Day.
but i guess if it weren’t for barren winters
and handsome smiles without words to follow
and today communication that results in
i wouldn’t care about the weather.
i want to be seasoned with rain that’s fun to run through
and kisses of potential and hands held for first times
and dances without music.
i’m counting down months until my next season change
and hoping it comes sooner
than when the weather man claims
cuz it might be winter outside of my window
but it can still be warm in my heart.
wind can chill me in climates where i have to wear my coat
but sunshine can fill my throat
and sing the most beautiful songs
(even if they are off-key).
i feel like a spring-time love,
not out of necessity but pure luxury,
boredom, entitlement, fulfillment
energy rush through me
and change this weather like fall leaves
and leave me satisfied
as summer tip-toes with holes in her socks while
temperatures are increasing
so that like a bear hibernating,
i would have stocked up on enough love
to carry me over to days when the sun
stays up late because even she can’t resist the temptation
of the rush that comes
my plans slipped from my hands and
plopped into a muddy puddle.
being a seeker, i feel compelled
to roll up my sleeves and fish them out
but being a germophobe,
the thought of getting my hands dirty
i can imagine the grime that would be stuck
under my fingernails for months,
seeping out each time i touched my face
or put my hands together to pray.
i could see ruining my favorite clothes
with stains that won’t go away with two wash cycles
and Lord knows i don’t have money for drycleaning.
so here i am staring at a nasty pile of water
that gets murkier by the minute
and i’m stuck.
it’s raining on my head,
my socks are wet,
and my dreams sink further
than i can see.