Queen K

Queen K

When she walked into the room, her

glow burned outlines of beauty into

her eyes

Sweats and scarves become to finest

silks draped from limbs divine

A warrior woman with fist unfurled

allowing energy to drip from 4b 4c

curls

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

Queen K

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Water Runs: Ruminations on Yemaya

Water Runs

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

Running

Downriver, down throats that take

her for granted

One-Two-Three: Rhythm of the Women

One-Two-Three

One-Two-Three, One-Two-Three

One-Two-Three, One-Two-Three

Low hums of the Frigidaire

with the dishwasher handlin’ the bass

One-Two-Three, One-Two-Three

The clangin’ of pots serving me a backbeat

The wind pluckin’ out power chords on the screen door

One-Two-Three, One-Two-Three

It’s time for the main act.

Mama. Grandmama. Auntie. Sistah.

Tradin’ solos. Makin’ harmony

One-Two-Three, One-Two-Three

One-Two-Three, One-Two-Three

Day. Eve. Night.

Day. Eve. Night.

Day
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

Eve
The in-between
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

Night
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.

Ashe.

Silk Sistah: Black God’s Flaw

Silk Sistah

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?
Hell nah.
Wake up, nigga. That silk ain’t no sistah.
It ain’t nothin’ but God’s flaw

I-69: Mutual Connection

I-69

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

Black Noise: The Hum

Black Noise

 

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: The Truth

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.

Future

 

-a tired black man

Girl Next Door: An Everyday Love

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 everday

Its in the air, in the rain, in the sun, in the pain

Its what she does to me

 

-a black man in love

What She Needs To Say: Monologue for Faith

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