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

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.

 

Dear white boy,

Do “I hate you” and “I love you” mean the same to you?

Because it seems to me at times, you may confuse the two

You’re the type of boy who’d fuck me thinking “Nigger”

Who’d ask again and again if black men’s cocks are bigger

I see you

Walking like you own the place,

Like god cried in the heavens the day that your face

Cracked open your mother’s legs so you could stand before me and say

“I hate you”

Boy, Imma laugh in your face.

Blurred Lines

Black boy brilliance

Black boy beauty

Black boy bravery

Blackboybeauty

Blackboybrilliance

Blackboybravery

Black boy

Black boy

Black boy

Black

Black

Black

Boy.

On being afraid

What was that you said ?
No, the thing about me
What you whispered too loudly
To your friend as I passed by
Yes, I’m sure you have seen me around
A lot. Bound to happen when I walk everywhere
No, that does not mean I am open to being harassed
Oh, I’m sorry, I don’t have any cash on me
What? That makes me a Nigger?
Well, this Nigger isn’t begging you for money
No, I will not hug you,that does not make me a bitch
What? You want to rape me ?
Come say that to my face,
Does that make you feel like a man ?
Every day they come at me
It’s a wonder I step out at all.

On Acknowledging Truth

I am not as strong as I think I am
I am not as clever as I pretend to be
I use big words and grandiose statements to hide my fear
The world terrifies me
I have gotten nowhere, fast and I am afraid I will stay here
I Fuck up chances like it’s my job
And my childhood tore me down instead of building me up
I am a shell, a fraud, a coward
I never do the things I say I will
I hide from people and the world because they hurt me and attack me and judge me
I am not who I pretend to be
I can’t fake it til I make it
I am tired.
I am not as strong as I think I am.

May You live in Interesting Times

It has been a while since I have written.  This is due to various reasons, however, the heart of it is that I have not had the heart for it.

Recently I have been undergoing a serious overhaul of my inner self.  I was walking out my days in a blissful haze, letting the heat of the sun dance upon my back, wandering the streets with friends, singing, dancing and howling at the moon.  This soul needed it; needed a chance to let out all of the bitterness and hurt that had settled there.  This soul needed the opportunity to stir itself and remember why it burns with such passion.

The reason it burns, ekes out fire, as a tree ekes out life, is because this world needs it.  Long have I been under the misapprehension that I am limited.  I have walked out my days thinking that though I have dreams, they are somehow out of reach.  Yes, there are countless people who have been blessed with an idea, a dream and through the courage of their convictions, brought that dream to beauteous life, but I always knew that wasn’t for me.

It wasn’t until I was wandering down the streets of Portland, caught in a heady daze, when I had a startling break through.  Patterns in my brain connected which had never before met and I realized that nothing is impossible.  I’ll say it again, no thing is impossible.  During this moment, I was granted a glimpse through time and sprawled out in front of me was a vision of my life ten years from now, and for the first time since the world told me I couldn’t, I realized I could.

I have something in the works.  This thing is big, and it is dreamy and it is so so so important and I can make it happen.  I will bring it to fruition. That knowing, that utmost certainty brings tears of an emotion I have yet to name bright to my eyes.

“May you live in interesting times” is said to be a curse.  Perhaps it is.  The fact is, we do.  We live in a time when nothing is certain, and everyday people are hurting, everyday people are suffering and people are craving change.  This world cannot survive without a change.  It is felt in the air, this change is craved in climate, in behaviors, in culture.  We live in interesting times and I have every intention of making them just a bit more interesting.

 

Wise Black Woman

It is not my duty to make you a better person.

This blackness was not
Gifted to me to better you.
To better yourself from knowing
Me, is an honor I gratefully accept

Do not misunderstand that
Gratitude for purpose – intent.

I walk out my days in this skin,
Constantly learning the causes and
Effects it imparts on the world Around me.

Yes, I walk out my days in the
Hope of leaving each place better – wiser.

I do not, however, seek to exist as
A token – an accessory.

Do not look to me to check your
Ignorance – temper your bigotry.
It is not my purpose to
Correct your words and actions

Though make no mistake – I will.

I will root out your bigoted remarks
And throw them in your face,
With the utmost eloquence and grace.

I am a docile sort – a gentle sort;
Until it goes too far
Until you cast me as the Helper –

The Wise Black Woman.

I am black, and I am a
Woman.  I am not however, an
Actor in your play.

Today I opened my eyes and
Found myself mid scene,
Playing a role I did not consent to;

So, I worked out the scene, spat out my lines
And exited stage left – if the show
Must to go on, it must go on

Without me.

The Vessel

Mohammed.
Resolute.
Strong.

I look into his deep, soul-ful
Eyes and marvel at the
Tales they hold.

Stories he whispers in furtive
Glances and guarded words.

They are stories I alone can hear
Wading in this sea of white.

This sea crashes and churns, and
My ship struggles to remain afloat,

His vessel remains undaunted – unbroken
Miles and miles it has traveled in this white sea.

I consider my ship, small and
Teetering.  Boards loose and breaking

It is not at all equipped for the journey on which it has embarked.
Mohammed’s vessel is strong,

It is armed and yes, it has some insecurities,
But it can make it to the end.

Before I begin the precarious journey home,
I bid him farewell, sounding my Horn in celebration of him.

Then slowly, I begin my return trek,                                                             This boat was made for shallow waters.

It is time for a new vessel.