courageous

I.

if i were courageous,

i’d allow the weight of my heart to roll out of my mouth

onto the plush pinkness of my tongue,

to flatten it smooth with luscious memories of what was

thrown together with the risky hopes of what could have been.

if i were brave i would call you up

letting crocodile tears rush down my face in hot, unplanned frenzies

while i tell you all the ways i love you and can’t stop thinking about you.

but.

now isn’t the time.

queen of swords

fear has kept you frosty, child.

sick of trying to mend old wounds

with 80 proof and grandma’s hymnals

you opted instead for icicles

figuring they’d be enough to stop the profuse bleeding

brought on my trauma’s heavy hand.

you thought a cold heart would kill off

even the slightest hint of pain;

theorized that hurt could heal if cryogenically frozen.

instead, in the process of thawing yourself out

you found out the pain incubates

evolving and giving birth to something entirely different,

something you don’t even recognize as what you tried to freeze out.

if you can, go easy as you warm up.

don’t turn the heat up too high

or you’ll break.

inversion

it’s cute that we still try to fill in each other’s cracks before they show

that even when we call ourselves being vulnerable,

delicately cut and splayed open for the other to see,

we still wear a sheet to cover the parts we’ve tasted and find most unsavory,

as if just-enough-brokeness still keeps you sexy enough for love.

fold.

I.

i know what i’m capable of.

i know i don’t mind streching to fit inside the holes of your heart

contorting my body to knit together your scars

i know i am capable

maybe more than usual

to make myself mutable to your needs

willing constantly to fall at your feet

but when you accidently drop me

i shatter.

II.

i’m not quite whole again

or maybe i am, and that’s what’s scary.

that i didn’t need you as bad as i thought i did.

that it’s more than alright,

actually preferred, to be independent.

III.

but i miss you as my compelmentary

and baby, i just want you to lay with me

and enjoy the sanctuary of each other’s company.

but i understand if you ain’t ready.

now more grown up than i used to be

i’m willing to wait patiently.

hit me up when you’re ready.

breonna

I.

these days when i look in the mirror i see you:

your hair braided back on the right side

hot-comb press flowing down on the left.

your smile is the kind that shows the heavy lightness

of being Black and Woman and Goddess in this world.

Breonna,

you lived full, you radiated–

even in your last breaths you balanced the easy tension of living suspended–

like bubbles between metallic pops turned bullet holes.

II.

is it too late to tell you how much more you deserved?

healer.

lightbearer.

joybringer.

warrior.

angel.

the world wasn’t big enough to hold all the parts you’d been shrinking in order to survive.

III.

no matter how many millions

white guiltbivalence shoves toward your family

to try to silence our cries for justice–

it will never be enough.

no matter how many so-called investments they make

in shutting up generations

or shutting down deserved retribution–

no matter what lies they tell themselves to sleep at night

making us out to be criminals

or cattle

or anything less that full human being

human living

human thriving

no matter what they stand on stages and say

after sitting behind closed doors and saying the opposite

they will understand

that there is no down payment for stealing life.

transactions

what did it cost to love you in secret places?

to hide behind the curtain, velveteen and deep purple,

wrapping ourselves around each other hungrily

as though we had never been adequately nourished–

was the price too high?

to lick the suppleness of exposed breast

caress the softness of inner thigh,

only to feel those hot tears streaming down your face

and into the crook of my elbow before falling asleep

did we both sacrifice too much?

risking our life-savings of guilt, shame and fear on the chance

that this could feel like freedom.

do you regret this venture?

will you invest the precious gentleness of your heart,

or the slick curvaceousness of your body,

or the sharpness of your mind

in someone else in the future

or is a one time investment all you wanted to test the market?

spread

when i walk into a room,

i spread my Black all over the place–

it tracks up the carpet,

saturates the rug,

gets all over the couch

and perfumes the air with the scent of shea butter and sage.

when i dance or sing

when i cry celebration or devotion

my Black throws itself all on the walls:

covering up paint and wallpaper indiscriminately

giving every square inch of surface a little piece of love.

my Black needs the space,

every little bit of room that consents to its occupation

to fill it with joy and golden rays

of Fenty Beauty ultralight beams.

my Black ain’t afraid

to be bold

to be loud

to be.

natural woman.

she made magic out of molehills when mountains were too small,

carved trenches into oceans when all she had

were waves to keep her warm.

didn’t they warn you?

that passion and ferocity burn brightest in small packages–

that many a change in wind, weather and raging sea

started with small sparks,

that tiny movements crashing into and frolicking along together

until the most magnificent forces of nature

appeared before your very eyes–

didn’t somebody let you know?

or did you just assume because Gaia took the form of Black Woman

you didn’t have to pay her mind?