The Path

The path to myself has had, and continues to have many, many detours. But I am working on being the one I choose, every time.

we had

we had a date
and i took a long, hot shower
and i mingled w/ soap & shampoo
and i let the hot water melt my anxiety
and i dried myself w/ a fresh warm towel
and i bathed in cocoa butter & shea

i waited

we had a date
and i called you first
and we made it together
and i was looking forward to your eyes

i waited

we had a date
and i tried on every tight sexy thing
and i thought of your eyes
and i tested my stay-put lipstick on a pillow
and i read poems by june & audre
and i sat to meditate
and

i waited

we had a date
at seven
we had a date
an hour ago
and i read more poems
they were not about you

i waited

we had a date
and i thought we made it together
and we laughed & told story
and i thought you were kidding
when you called me intimidating

i waited

morning came
and you called
and i was glad i had meditated
you said you weren’t ready for me
you called me intimidating
again
your voice quivered under magnetic signals
i could see your eyes watering
i could see them shifting
and darting away from the receiver

i listened
and i waited to understand what you meant
and i stared at my hand
calmly resting on my knee
i got up to look in the mirror
and studied the shape of my teeth
no fangs
i examined the length of my nails
not sharp, not too long

we hung up
and i read poems by lucille & walt & joy

we had a date
and you offered your number w/o me asking
and you were glad i called
and you asked me where i’d like to go
and we talked on the phone for hours
and only exhaustion could get us to hang up

we had a date
and now we have space
space between your fear of my inspiration
& my desire to inspire you
space between your story & mine

this morning i smell my own delicious skin
i feel its smooth, buttery-ness
i hear poetry & love & resistance
swirling through my mind

i want to make love to myself

and i do
and i do

Lunch break

This (and others I will post) is not a new poem, but a slightly reworked one from years ago. In this covid cave experience, I have found myself looking back to old writings, old papers and books; finding peculiar citations and a multitude of highlighted passages i’d since forgotten about. I have also found several unfinished poems, perhaps waiting these years for me to find the right words. this one feels particularly relevant today.

Damage

They fear that I will figure out
That beautiful is not without

They pretend they do not see
That beautiful began with me

They tremble when I start to smile
Especially when it lasts a while

They like to think they’ve got me pegged
That I’m two-eyed and I’m two-legged

They want to see my amber feet
Resist arrest accept defeat

They ask me to align with them
Remove myself from where I’ve been

They take the gifts I never gave
Forget that I was once their slave

They say I overindulge my anger
That docile, I am less a stranger

They crave me when my lips are sealed
No hint of righteousness revealed

They run for safety when I rise
Leaving blood stains on my thighs

I rise alone most everyday
and blood stains can be washed away.

photo credit: Gagan Vishwakarma