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

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
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

Black women are SO beautiful

I knew this when I was a child, watching the women in my life glide across rooms in beautiful colors, dancing in bare feet, hollering so the neighbors could hear and join in the laughter; in salons, in church, on the stoop, at the movies (being shushed), and all over the corners of my life. Growing up, I received many messages that this truth was dead wrong and I struggled to believe that the beauty I saw in the women in my sphere could also apply to me. And when I did believe, I was able to embody it at last.

We are Seeds

Accept that you are a beautiful thing
The kind of creature only poetry can convey
And when you transcend from this world
And into the next
Your skin will still be the color of earth
Your eyes the color of mountains
Your hair the fabric of grain
Your heart the cradle of children
And your womb the soul of the world

when they try to jail your mind and
hide this precious knowing from reaching your feet
you live half a life with half your staff

We are the seeds of the ancestors

Beat back the strangling envy
its ignorance and irreverence 

Mon cher, they want to love you
but would rather battle this need
than be buried in its treasure

photo credit: janie vinson