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.
I feel myself crumbling
Of a weight that feels like a titans hand
By a burden I’ve given myself
I am atlas.
I watch myself
In the mirror
And there’s questions in my eyes
I am too embarrassed to answer
Even when I’m alone
A haunting low wail.
Quiet enough to mean something
Not loud enough to share.
I hold my knees as tight as I can
This is how I keep it together.
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.
Do you taste as sweet
as your smile?
Are your sheets
as fresh as your 11’s?
Can I find out?
Fall into your bed
like a free spirit falling into
a field of dandelions
I bet you look like gold
under a yellow sun
for the night.
Let me find out.
My legs are strong enough to carry me and your burdens
I carry mine in this purse.
It bounces off my hourglass
As the light countdowns.
I begin before it allows me.
My thighs exchange greetings
As I walk to the coffee shop
Necks wind as I sway to the door
Dark skin glistening at the counter
Black coffee please.
“Is someone sitting here?”
My stuff is there. All around this place.
You hold your hands up and acquiesce.
Walking backward for your protection.
When I leave I can see noses in the air
Inhaling the fragrance
Gifted to me by my mother
I bring it with me to the street
“Fuck you too then bitch.”
I laugh at how that used to make my shoulders rise.
A corner boy with gutter words
Bitch dripping from his fangs.
Rejection is bitter
To a pack of wolves.
My coffee is stronger than you, boy.
I categorize my habits
Tone of voice and name
Second-hand characteristics that were given to me piecemeal
By a woman from Connecticut
And a woman from Georgia.
From a place we assume she called home.
But we say she must not be from there.
I can I live in this place
Be born in it
And not be allowed here.
But where I am now
In between two worlds.
The duality stretches me from left and right
Pulling at me
Makes me uncomfortable when I contemplate having to choose one
I don’t know Africa.
I have never been.
I was born here. I am not proud of it.
Who should be?
I run down the steps
To the middle of the street where we play.
Looking for my friends
I see two men in a car.
“Look at dem legs! Damn!”.
I stretch my shorts to cover them.
Making my body uncomfortable
Stooping my back to pull them down.
I run back inside to change.