Thinning fabric

We broke up the other day, I’m trying to pretend not to notice

Truth to tell we were never really together

I try to recall the times you’ve broken my heart

I’ve let them fade into the fabric of our story

Fabric worn thin by my worrying hands retracing patterns again and again

Trying to commit us to memory

I glance at your piece of our cloth, you’ve cut out bits of us, leaving patches in our truth

I wonder if you remember what it looked like before you erased us

Does your mind recall how beautiful we were?

Threads woven together bright and dark, hazy and shining

Like sun breaking through clouds after a raging storm

These days, you see only the storm, can only take in the chaos

Should your fingers try to retrace us, they’d find holes held together by trivial pieces of our memory

I still see us, breaking boldly through clouds

Weaving our story together with threads of tenderness, laughter and pain

How could you cut us apart?

I’ve kept my piece intact; fingers retrace our history at times lovingly, at times mournful

Feeling always where we’ve thinned out

Our fabric is worn, the time has come to put us away

Tracing patterns once more I fold us up and place us in my dresser, next to old faded sweatshirts of love gone by

What you choose to do with your fabric, I have no say

For my part, I’ll keep mine hidden and safe

Neatly folded and forgotten as we carry on the aimless game we play

We broke up the other day and today, the sun is hidden away

Skies are dark, dreary and grey, contented to stay that way

Solving for F

Hidden-Figures-13.jpg

My brain has been ticking for months

got me feeling like math class,

pulling my gum, twisting it around my finger

eyes fixed on the page, staring at the problem,

body cemented in angsty agony

praying for the bell to ring

so I can put it aside for another day

begging the universe for more time

to try figure out how to solve for F

Freedom or Facism

or

freedom from facism

How do I balance the equation?

Got me like Taraji in Hidden Figures

up on that ladder

skirt leaning while I sway

I need me a computer

in the form of all those brilliant

rad and mad woc who got us to space

I need to accept that computer is the way to soar

Yeah, I think that is a metaphor

We’ve got to teach us how

to break these chains and fly

We be how we solve for F

Computing, how to Fuck this Shit all the way Up.

Turbulence 

I sit at the bar reading The Ethical Slut

Trying to pretend I’m not broken

Acting like I haven’t spent the night

Spilling my guts to the inside of a paper bag

I woke up just after the sun, with my mind reeling

Learning to identify the way regret feels on the inside of my bones

I’ve got fucked up priorities

This is clear to me, in the way glasses are when they come in from the rain

New year, new me

I wish it was a thing I believed

There are so many things I don’t believe

So many truths I’ve learned were false

Here is a truth I know:

I’ve been too focused on love, not on life

It’s funny because I’m currently mystified, my next step escapes me

I’m just wandering, bleary eyed and wild hearted

This life is moving by me, through me and I’m having a time keeping up, and with it, and present

I’ve begun to weave so many different patterns and I am unsure how they will come together

I have a strong desire to just say, fuck it.

To take something large and hard and durable and smash the shit out of everything around me

I was so optimistic yesterday

We’ll see how I feel tomorrow.

Charlie Was a Sinner…

You like that 

I want you

enjoy the way

I tense 

When you press your

breasts against me

It excites you,

I can tell

but 

I’m not here to play

this is not a game

I want with my soul

Not my cunt

You press your breasts

against me

Then 

tell me to run 

Explode

Tell me how not to be stardust

Because it is all I eat. sleep. breathe.

I want you to tell me how to fade 

into nothing

Sink back into that place where

it all began

Before there was you or me

Or sun or sky

When life wasn’t life at all

Not even a dream, or a concept 

Just space, trying to condense itself

Trying to create time,

Waiting to explode 

Addiction

I’m in a flurry

Surrounded by love and

would-be lovers 
This life has become a storm
I’ve committed to standing

Being stationary 

and my spirit can not cope
It craves mystery

Wonder 
I don’t believe in second chances

Because I don’t believe 

Things truly end
They cycle

Reflect – then

Carry on

There’s energy in 

Beginning though 
Maybe that is what 

Draws me to them

It’s a dangerous kind of 
Addiction 

Racism in your Living Room

I’m tired. There has been this trend in my life of white people, predominantly white men, who feel the need to tell me something about blackness. A joke, a story, an observation… This need is so overwhelming in fact, that they feel it necessary to encroach upon my safety and the safety of those around me. To the point of physical violence.

What’s more, these men cannot seem to fathom the fact that I have less than no interest to hear, engage or indulge their certain to be offensive and off base anecdotes.

This seems to enrage them. Beyond reason. That’s not to say that they were all that reasonable to begin with, but they lose it. Shoot directly to rage, then bargaining, then back to rage.

Some of these incidents, the last two, actually, occur after at some point in the night, I have rejected some sort of advance from them. How dare I not allow myself to be fetishized?

I see the changes in them. See the confusion work across their face, ugly and stupid. Watch as confusion morphs into bargaining, then rage.

And when I push back? Talk back. Rage back ?!

They’re beyond reason. They push people. Hit people.  Break things. I cock my head while looking at them, watch as they throw temper tantrums on a massive, dangerous scale.

These men live in Portland. Drink at your bars, walk down your streets. Hang out in your living rooms. 

Privilege is a hell of a drug.

At times, it’s as though I can hear inside their heads, thoughts spiraling. I see the fetishization of myself in their eyes, projecting onto me like a shroud.

They move toward me, eyes glazed. They step forward, I step back. They step forward, I step back, a rage filled dance.

Until I stop.  Until I’m done. Until I move forward. Advancing. Raging. Throwing their language back in their face. Stronger. Righteous. Knowing that the odds are not stacked in my favor. Knowing how precarious the state of my body is.

But heres the thing:

I’m done. I’m tired. I will no longer allow people to press their will onto my own. Racially, emotionally, physically, sexually, I’m done. For twenty-seven years, this body has been a dumping ground for other people’s baggage – garbage that they have forgotten, neglected, or refused to unpack – and I’m sick of it.

So, the next time you have an urge to tell me (or any other black person, for that matter) something about blackness. Don’t. Just – dont.

I promise you, we don’t want to hear it.