Some days

Som days I look like my dad… distant, and very selective about my outward show of emotions. Other days, I seem to hold my mother more. Co dependent and relentlessly empathetic.

I hope to soon look like myself. A self actualized version of the nappy headed girl who could not find a place to fit herself except in the folds of her own hands.

Monologue 1

I.
Damn.

I left for too long… kept retreating to the bright white space in my head: A nonstop
Pulsing
Raging
Argument between what I know

And what I don’t…

I spent too long in that space / holed up against the flesh of my loved ones / latching on to the complex veins
In their throats and arms
I smoked
And smoked
And cried

And … the soil in my plant grew dry..
The stalks began to yellow, the color deceitfully bright for the damage it caused

Soon individual leaves fell limp
Oxygen failed to reach the very ends of thirsty petals
All of the flowers had fallen to places I couldn’t see

Fuuuuuuck.

I was gone too fucking long.

This plant, and the one on the other side of my room
Both of them—lost to the fog of my habits.

Where’s the water?

II.
Whew. Shit. Bitch.

If I pour too much, I’ll drown them both—Reggie and Betty I call them.

“They” say when you find a person near starvation or dehydration—you give them small amounts. You gently wet the tongue with a few drops of water.

I step out of the haze for a minute.

Once I lift the blinds, I remember that the sun is warm on my skin.

Here are my few drops of water and kind words to you.

III.
Affirmations for my days look shaky at this point

I step out of the whirlwind and fall back into it
Tripping on shit I certainly didn’t put in my path
Shit I’m struggling to move out of my way

To give them more weight —I speak to these budless, utterly resilient plants

And in the end I ask them for courage
As I take the first step to healing them

I like to use a round, black pair of scissors that I own

— They remind me of me —

To remove that which is dying
And kills everything around it.

Growing

When I was twelve
I was long-haired
And fat
I had eczema that crawled along my skin
In the summer
And crept into my dreams At night
I was a dancer

When I turned fourteen
I felt broken but destined for balance
I believed in something
Possessed a
Righteous sense of self defense
Loud hair
And a person

Then I was seventeen,
I’d known some things
Learned around myself, kept falling and falling somewhere
But I was dancing
Fiercely holding onto movement
And proof of existence
I was alive
With no fear
Of —

    Then I was twenty

Misplaced
Stagnant and somewhat hopeless
I was finding
and losing trinkets
Bones and tongues …And

                        Body 

I am almost twenty-three
I do not dance
I seem to find in pieces
I am here
Simply here, writing on my life
In fragmented stages
Remembering the vague, abstract chunks
Of my existence

But I am here

Does every poem need a title?

 

You’ve stretched out over six feet of space
The only six available in a tight cramped hospital room
The timed whir of machines processing their functions
Manufacturing life for the fathers of crumbling daughters
Wakes you from the slumber you keep attempting to steal
Between Catholic prayers bleeding through overhead speakers
And the methodical ticking of another plastic heartbeat

If you could break through the window you would
If your legs could hold you up
And your fingers were not shattered at the joints
You could lose sterility, be freed from gleaming white walls and
Monitors keeping you just at death’s bay
Where you’ve sat for years
With your family in your lap
And blood spilling from your mouth.

Disjointed

Broke my finger when I touched myself
Couldn’t find where the vulva was supposed to split
And it was too slippery down there,
Too foreign for my comfort

Lost my voice when I called your name
Lettering like kola nut in my mouth
Slicing my tongue
When I tried explaining myself
To myself, or whoever would listen

(This was supposed to be forever,
I was supposed to be forever)

I’ve stepped into every phase of my life
With a twisted ankle and feeling a little less grounded

Cut my hand on the mirror
As I tried to learn myself
Without asking any of the hard questions I know I hate to hear

Work Woes

Whiteness masked as coloured-ness is not quite as violent as whiteness parading around as itself
But it does make me wary in the same
Guard your shit, and watch what you say
Way that white supremacy does


‘The bus’
When I was too much
Too Black, too full of myself
You made me road-kill

‘of color’
Womanhood in shades
Browns not quite dark, too light for
My kinda treatment

‘Do you know who I am’
I come from niggas
Ex-slaves, and segregation
No stranger to me

Power Rising 2019

I’m leaving IAD
Headed to where the Black Women convene
A tight fist forming in my stomach
And a sudden realization as the plane ascends
That the ground has always been there
Greens and browns so distinctly natural
I mistook my bare feet for the roots of an oak tree
And watered myself, often and tenderly

My chest heaves and tears prick the corners of my eyes as
I sink into this unfamiliar shade of blue
Bright and ethereal as god herself
When she
Placed it here
And sent me to the place where black women go
To dance, to heal, and be
Our most untethered selves
So I could see what she sees
Catching my grandmother’s eyes in the clouds
And her voice on the faint hiss of wind rushing past me before
The ground soon becomes blurred by clouds
And I’m lost to the heavens
The long home of my ancestors

I’ve craned my neck so many days to send my voice here
Where prayers go and root…
Where I’ll always be.