When she walked into the room, her
glow burned outlines of beauty into
Sweats and scarves become to finest
silks draped from limbs divine
A warrior woman with fist unfurled
allowing energy to drip from 4b 4c
I’m doin’ a lot I know but its not
my fault I swear
that I see you
Queen K of the moon and Stars
Queen K of One and Only yet
who you are
I wonder if when water runs she get tired
If she heaves and puffs and puts
her hand on stones to prop herself up
If she ever wants to stop
As tired as she be
Downriver, down throats that take
her for granted
Low hums of the Frigidaire
with the dishwasher handlin’ the bass
The clangin’ of pots serving me a backbeat
The wind pluckin’ out power chords on the screen door
It’s time for the main act.
Mama. Grandmama. Auntie. Sistah.
Tradin’ solos. Makin’ harmony
Day. Eve. Night.
Bending but never breaking
Speaking but never yelling
She etches her name into rivers heading towards her ancestors
Sunflowers and sunlight accentuate e-g-e-l-l-o-c’s and mhhhhmmmms
Neither here nor there
Transitioning from one time to another
One state to another
Rose water in amethyst bottles inscribed with spells made out to Oshun
Everybody loves the sunshine but love is made in the night
Spiritual moments made in beds repossessed by old friends
Lowercase l’s defy uppercase friends
Day. Eve. Night.
Night. Eve. Day.
Silk sistah, who are your people and where do they come from?
I have no hesitation about questioning your situation as long as you feel my cool lips inspire smooth liberation
Damn, Silk Sistah!
Does the heat of the day know what to say when you come around?
Does the chill of the night invite soul in your left brain and neo in your right?
Sadiddy Silk Queen of the Northeast, did increase do you wrong?
Flood your spirit and turn soil into mud?
Wake up, nigga. That silk ain’t no sistah.
It ain’t nothin’ but God’s flaw
If you want the fastest route from up North to the Downright Dirty South,
Take the I-69
Drive slow and work your way down the scenic route
Taste the colors and in the words of sex’s mother:
Do That Work!
Take a detour to the right until all that’s left is straight a Head
One of us takes the train, the other explores a tunnel
A little left
A little right
It don’t matter as long as you’re on I-69 all night
Little Black boys and little Black girls
Playing on asphalt streets concretely
Screaming out “Whatchu gonna do about it”
And “Tag, you it”
Teenagers caught up in an everlasting melodrama
Boys with the latest Jordans puffing their chests out
Living embodiments of fly and cool
Girls slangin’ braids and synthetic weave
Sayin’ “I’m a fine sista” with hips swingin’ gracefully
Soulful clashes that make the windowpanes of culture
Shiver with mmmhhhmmms and riiiigggghhhtttts
You may try but
You can’t escape the hum of Black Noise
On a Non-Superficial Setting
I don’t even know if I want you!
I’ve married you and cried for you
And spread myself thin for you
I questioned myself for you
And pushed myself for you
And now I don’t know if I want you
You so secure. You so safe. You so planned
So I need a break.
I’ll call you when I’m ready
I know you’ll keep going without me, but I’ll catch up.
-a tired black man
Girl Next Door
She does to me what rain does to dirty windowpanes
Streaking rivulets of revival down my sides
Leaving behind trails of coulda-beens and woulda-beens
Removing what was for the sake of what is
She does to me what oldies on the radio do for her
Takes me back to Sunday morning housecleaning
Vacuum in hand, line dancing and organizing my love into a house in order
She does to me what a Hugs from the corner store does to thirst
Quenches me momentarily
A cool waterfall of Red No. 6 to make the heat of sticky concrete bearable
What she does to me is real
Its in the air, in the rain, in the sun, in the pain
Its what she does to me
-a black man in love
Faith: I mean, I like you. You’re alright or whatever. And I know you want me to say that I love you… but I don’t want to lie to you. Not, like, lie as in not telling you the truth. But lying by omission, you know. By not telling you everything. By not telling you how I have written poems about you in my room ever since I met you. By not telling you that you make me feel good and that men don’t ever make me feel good so I know you’ll turn bad. I would have to tell you that I hate you. Not, like, literally. Just for being so cute sometimes. I won’t let you use me until you use me up so I hide some of myself from you. Just enough so that I remember I am there when I look at me in the quiet hours of the night. I can’t love you because I can’t give you all of me. I can’t give you the whole of me. All men have ever done is take and take and take while they pretend to give. So I’m sorry if I seem reserved to you. I’m sorry if I can’t say those words to you. I’m sorry that you can love me because its easy for you to. But its not easy for me. And if you don’t know that, then you can’t possibly know me.
– an observing black man