Coffee Strong.

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

A smile.

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.

 

Disconnected.

I categorize my habits

And rituals

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?