After alanon


Pass it forward
Heal it down
This honey flows
From goddess.
To ancestors
Through me
To kin
Kind
Descendant of my chest
This heart beats
To correct past
Deeds
Doings
Phenomena
We feel today
Heal today
Ancestral memory grinds my teeth
Clenches my jaw
Body shudders
There are no regrets
Only experiences
Lessons
Taught
Forgotten
Uncovered
I weep for the future
So the future can weep less
Or more
For other things
Yet to be conceived of
I commit you to memory
Future kind
Who I heal for
And with
in this echo
That is time







I am afraid to walk my dog

I am afraid to walk my dog
our black bodies are magnets
Our race and breed categorized as dangerous
we are a double threat
with our broad grins
and curious eyes
always sniffing out
some new blessing
until we are accosted
white hands on my chest
pushing me back
white people standing all around me, silent
and I have to reign myself in
I am not allowed to react
to this violent provocation
because they will label justification
irrational, they will blame the race and the breed
my friend will protect me if I show my fear
if I feel ill at ease
if whiteness attacks
I must relax
It attacks so much
we cross the street
a white man yells, “Hey sis, keep him away from me
if he comes for me I’m coming for him”
I shout across, “I’m not your sis”
My dog barks and I praise him, and shout again at the man and pull myself away
a white woman’s dog attacks mine,
She screams at me to leave the park
A public place where dogs come to play
and get in fights. all. the time
White people standing all around me, silent
another white man kicks my dog,
he left open the gate
my dog ran in and he kicked him away
because that’s what white men do to feel strong
they kick and they beat and they justify
I screamed at this large white man
I asked him if it made him feel good, kicking a dog
if it made him feel proud
he told me to leave, go back where I came from
in this public place
white people standing all around me, silent
We walk down the street, white women jump away
remember, we are just going about our day
doing what we love to do
enjoying nature’s gifts
soaking up the sun, or running in the rain
the story is always the same
they’re threatened by our presence
they’re threatened when we push back
I get up early, push my sweet pup off the bed
and take him outside, because there are less people
Fewer dangers, pretend that I am a morning person
That popping up is what I really want to do
We love rest
We love ease
I contort our routine around my fear

tiny meager mighty things

How do we hear what speaks in echoes?

if we hush our breath

can we hear the ancestors dance?

is that my ancestor’s skirt rustling in the wind?

who but the gods can tell

with their journals full of secrets

like Laplace and his demon

chronicling memories of the past

creating infinite space for future dreams

Isis

sits scrawling lazily

tiny meager mighty things

Icarus

spreads their wings and shoots

directly into the sun

on earth we call it lightning

as their wings fall from the clouds

feathers scatter then burn

before ever reaching ground

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

Lilac

For a long time I equated being good with being silent

I was told to hold contradictions in my mouth

speak up but stay silent

speak up when you have something to say, but don’t say the truth

don’t speak your fear

speak so you can be heard:

I have a rage inside me which has yet to find its limit

it crawls up my back, claws out my eyes and spills from my mouth

I war with everyone around me

words ripping//eyes tearing the way through my day

I dropped a bottle of perfume

My grandmother gave it to me when I was a child

it smells strong like lilac and it stained the tapestry

I can’t help the smell

and the bottle I kept safe for years is now gone

like the woman who gave it to me

and is that a sign or just a bottle or a combination of the two

a reminder from the ancestors not to forget them, telling me,

sometimes bottles break

when what’s inside needs to be let out

Skimming the surface

books-1655783_1920.jpg

I feel seen by your eyes; this frightens me

A bead of sweat drips down your face. I stare, enthralled. I find myself contemplating its flavor.

Your mouth has got me shook. I cant. Stop. Staring.

I peek inside your mind and find it lined with shelves, littered with papers and books, some left open and forgotten. I imagine you skim through them from time to time. But only when necessary

I want to be there when you get out of the shower to smooth your skin with shea butter while your body is still steaming, and hot, and wet

Sometimes, I imagine you’re stretched out beside me. We lay on cool green grass below a tall sprawling tree, sheltered from the blazing sun

you know how when you’re reading and you realize your mind has wandered? Well, my mind wanders to you

I fantasize about loving you. For this, I blame you and I blame Audre. In no particular order.

If I’m right, you think of me slightly less than I think of you, this both draws me back and drives me forward

List for me the following:

your favorite book

your favorite poem

your favorite song

I want to search for you in their words

The next time we are alone, I will not tell you how I feel

I write around you, not about you. I tell myself skimming over you is easier than diving in.

To the White Man Who is No Longer a Part of the Conversation:

I bet it hurts you, doesn’t it?

to think that there is something

in this world which does not

revolve around you

it must shock you to think that

though the fuckery stemmed from you

you are no longer a factor in this equation

I’ve cancelled you out

smudged the edges of

my apartment and

ushered the toxicity

which is your imprint

upon my flesh

out of the building

you are hereby dismissed

do not think for one moment

I am sorry to see you go

you who have fetishized

raped and abused me

crawled between my

bones and my flesh and

leaked out your poison

What really gets me?

you’re convinced this is love

your smugness is nauseating

your certainty preposterous

yet you stay firmly planted

rooted in the rewritten history

you believe is your truth

your blindness is appalling

your presence is threatening

it is time for you

to exit the conversation.

 

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.

Misconstrued 

How can I betray

Something that 

Never was? 

Never is

I know I can 

I know I did

It was an act of 

Preservation 

of

Desperation

To return to myself

The piece of me that

You took

That I offered up

Back when I

Misread the

Situation