I keep looking
Than I can afford
I keep looking
Than I can afford
Look like something I could float on
And when u laugh
That dimple winks at me
As if it knows I’m waiting for it
And if I’m close enough
I can hear your heartbeat
A rhythmic melody
A Smooth and consistent lullaby.
And your hands
Textured and thoughtful
Creeping up my thigh
Just enough to get warm.
I let them stay there long enough
And then I push them to their destination.
So you can explore me in detail
And turn me into a poem.
You start it with an always.
It comes from the bridge you walk over
Of things you said you’ve forgotten
And you carry that always
Right there in your pocket
And as heavy as it may be
You wield it
And then it rains so thunderously
and you frighten me
You swear it’s always what I do
You tower over me
and I shout to you
I thought we forgave each other
I forgive you and you add another
To your suitcase you carry through
Our relationship is something blue.
You always do this
I never do.
I keep my eyes closed when I think about you.
So maybe I’ll wake up and the reason my heart beats this fast will be because of a dream.
Because you’ve chased me with a knife made of stories I’ve told you.
And you know it’ll cut me
Cause you still haunt me.
So you chase me until we’re exhausted
and I try to reason with you
I shield the wrong part of myself
I’ve fallen in the garden we’ve made together in spring
Nothing has grown in months
Except for these white flowers that brides hold.
But I wake up
And it still hurts.
I shouldn’t have given you that knife
You asked me to look into your eyes and see true love that melts underneath your eyelids when you smile at me. To feel protected by calloused hands that lie because those hands have seen neither hard work nor a woman’s embrace for longer than a year. Have you ever been chained to anything? Why do you take me as a slave? Do you know the feeling?
Why so rough?
You kneel to my stomach and inhale the cocoa butter and speak to her, and say sweet words that soar from your lips and sit behind my bedroom door. You left them there. Soon as the sun rises the petals from those pretty pink roses fall on the floor. You gave them to me a week ago when you were sweet. The softness on your lips as I greet you at the door, playing a part that you audition me for then telling me I didn’t get it.
And here is why.
Baby, you’re too cold, you tell me. That baby doesn’t make you my baby, I told you that. I love you and those soft waves I float on at night between your thighs, you drown me when I need it but I’m not your man. Don’t let anyone else swim in your waters, but you’re a woman so you’ll let them float anyway. Don’t take it that way. You need to play your role. Baby I’ve seen you build those walls made of all those hearts you’ve shed and built anew over the years, all those beautiful hearts. I saw your light seeping through the cracks and I needed that warmth for myself, I was cold. You were so bright. so I convinced you to let me in, and you did, but that wasn’t enough. I need you to shed once more and walk behind me as I am the man.
Am I not what you want your daughter to be? Part of you flutters inside me. You speak to her and sing and nights go by and drums play in my head and heart and I toss and turn on a pillow where your head rests when you crave sleep and my touch. Does it flinch when I cry from words you toss towards me? and turn your back when the wetness you see is in the wrong place? Do you flinch? Do you feel what it feels? If so, how are you standing? You drown out my sobbing with the radio volume as I sit next to you in the car, and at that moment I’ve never wanted to switch places with you more. To be in your seat and drive away. But you will never allow that because to earn your love I have to forget how to drive. To earn your love I have to see my strength as a weakness, but what will my castle be made of?
As if you weren’t beautiful enough
You brought history into our home
And as I watch you hammer and nail
I think about the men before you
How they never wanted to build with me
But you build for me
With us in mind
And this table could very well be oak
And last until we are only known through pictures with wooden frames
And this table will be as strong as our family tree
It will spark a never ending
Forever changing story of how great great grandpa cut down this wood with his bare hands
The same hands that picked it up from the store
But that can be our secret
Like the extra late night snacks you’ll have on this table
And the mythical version of you will spread like fire
A monolith for a husband.
Can you imagine it?
A Scary Time For Men.
I ask him a question, tepidly.
Because I know I will burn up when he answers.
I don’t want it to be like that.
“What do you mean…?”
He is like granite standing there
He used to be like clay
But now his suits and pocket squares define him.
And I am still here like an anchored balloon
Floating around in the same spot.
“I mean what I said, it is a scary time for men”.
I try to not let my words leap out and wrestle him.
I don’t want it to be like that.
I try to take the rage and fury out of my voice
And distinguish the flame he sparks in my entire body.
I’m running out of vision.
I am 14. Or 15.
I am a little girl.
“I am in a position of power”.
My body jumps as the car drives over an uneven street.
“She dresses inappropriately, what if she accuses me of something?”.
The man next to me smells like metal. He is old.
The street lights slither over him sometimes
But he’s just a dark shadow next to me.
“I’ve made complaints about her clothes and no one has said anything”.
It’s just me and the old man in the back seat.
He rubs my thighs and I sit quietly because I don’t want to get in trouble.
He rubs my breasts and I’m too scared to move.
“It’s just a scary time for men, that’s all i’m sayin”.
I raise my voice and now the whole house is quiet.
“You’re not listening, so I’m done talking”.
He closes the conversation.
Like a man closing his briefcase at the end of an unsatisfying business meeting.
I can’t stop yelling. Or being furious.
“It’s okay that we disagree sometimes”.
He says this calmly.
I can feel that man’s hands crawling over my body like a spider.
I see the lights over his stomach that hung over his pants.
His face hidden in the darkness of the car.
The roughness on my thighs. Hard labor old man hands on my little girl body.
I scream and yell and feel unhinged.
I want to hit something.
Kick and scream.
I want to cry
I still want him to take me serious.
I am a tornado of emotions.
I have not seen the old man in the car since.
I have ran away from that moment.
My lover’s fear put me back in that car.
Then his fear locked me in.
I wanted to hurt him for that,
For ignoring my pain.
This is a scary time for men.