Don’t Write It If You Don’t Mean It: Nude & Blue
Copyright © 2019 LLJ
All rights reserved.
For My Ancestors.
May my gifts speak for you.
Have we met before?
There must be something I don’t know–
because the me I see reflected in your eyes isn’t who I was
trying to-wanted to-intended to
a few seconds ago,
Before I knew
the weight of all my secrets.
The thing about being a mirror is that. more often than not, people do not like what they see. In an open gaze they are forced to fall into the depths of their own abyss, fall broken only by their own imperfections. On a flat surface, their incompetencies have no way to roll and hide. In being held steadily in view, they sense that they have been seen and resentment begins to brew. All of the hateful thoughts harbored within themselves begins to bubble over. Projectile and projection are often the only gifts mirrors meet, kept at arms reach. Dis-illusion of reflection.
They say it’s true if
you ain’t making money, you’re a slave to it.
Well I wouldn’t be afraid to add your name to it.
Over beats and through leaps is how this maid chooses
to throw away all the shame of constantly bruising
and consistent confusion.
Whenever I get turned around I come right back to you and
it leads to my pen and paper making perfect you’s.
And it’s easier to relapse than to go cold-turkey with facts.
So that when reality does hit it ain’t harder than that.
Harder than you.
So much harder call it a wrap.
To call it quits
would be for me to no longer exist,
to take the gloves off my fists.
is how I fight,
however passive aggressive.
You absorb my blows and still deliver my message.
You take my soul from me and give me perspective.
It’s been years and I’d never regret it.
I’m forever indebted.
I’m Forever poetic.
Nothing Makes Me Sadder
than the last sip of tea,
after going back for more
and finding the cup warm
Not a cold rainy day.
not losing a diary written cover to cover
or misplacing a favorite scarf.
nor a full moon night with clouds in the way.
Perhaps not even losing a lover.
Fixated on the vessel that once contained my joy,
wondering if I had truly savored every bit.
not quite knowing what measurements
Left with a moist mouth and hands outstretched.
If only need facilitated the reckon and reasoning.
capable of rewriting an imminent end.
The fact remains that empty cups are hollow
and they never say a thing.
Like a Cicada beneath a tree.
Like dark matter.
beneath a mountain.
In search of cosmic silence.
Footprints In the sand
I’d always wanted a best friend instead of a mother.
It took me years to realize that I had both all along.
My best friend simply had a hard time expressing
that she anguished over the idea of the world destroying me.
So much so that she contained me
in an effort to hide me.
Protection often takes the form of boxes,
figuring the ones she could configure would fit better than any pine one.
In her mind,
loves lost, lost time.
Having given birth yet one more time,
the berth of such stretched oceans wide.
My best friend carried me across–
even the times I felt left behind.
The sun rose and set on her
as she shielded me from the fire.
More often than the cold loneliness that hugged me in place of her place allowed me to notice.
It wasn’t until I rejected the protection her footprints
that I realized how hard it was for her to keep her feet moving.
My best friend is a superhuman who made the often impossible-feeling look easy.
I was not the only weight she had to carry.
Unbeknownst to me it took two hands and a soul to keep the sky from caving in, you see
Hind-sight is 20/20 and if I had known sooner I would have helped.
But my best friend kept the struggle out of the suffocating safety of my bubble,
my world of her creating,
made of fears and weathered heart strings.
Even when the land was barren and we had no claim to it,
I never noticed a thing.
I beg for forgiveness of my anger.
For my resentment of her being
a being stretched so thin
that she sizzled with tension, often lashing out with little warning.
I struggled to forgive her and estranged our womb glue of a bond.
Just to stagger for years before stumbling upon
the truth that I only needed to forgive myself.
For harboring the hurt.
When love is the only thing that got us across the sand and sea that threatened to drown us both.
Suck us in
before she could teach me to swim.
With audacity she secretly
weaved me from the same cloth.
The same blood.
I carry her scars.
Just as she carries her best friend’s
And that best friend carried her best friend before.
As I hack away at generations of trauma and secrets
mining glittering gold,
I bleed gratitude.
Reminded that I am the fortunate.
No one listens when a Black woman says that she is tired.
Fatigued from the extremes and situations of dire. Of needing and wanting supplied with less means than it seems necesary to survive.
The number of dreams that die
Of all the lies,
She is fine.
When she isn’t even close to being okay.
My Grandmother Has No Tombstone
The way southerners
who haven’t left the South
make it a point to make city family feel less black.
Afloat with no chance of ever making it back
to their roots.
Not even to be buried properly.
I’m gonna do it for the both of us.
I promise to deliver a baby before I return to this earth as dust.
you had a soul full of the blues.
I swear I’ll get on stage to sing
a song I wrote just for you.
In old age
men become soft
were as hard as
the surface of Mars.
There’s a tenderness
so tender to witness.
Its essence emanating from their depths.
A lifetime of resisting
A. What I feel in thought of you is similar to what I imagine the universe sounds like.
Mountains moving into place.
Asteroids colliding in space.
The deafening presence of that which creates.
B. When I look at you–
or kiss you–
or lay heart to heart with you–
I feel the same shifting within
I contemplate a flower
or watch the sun rise.
A. When I sync with someone
I store their vibration.
so don’t tell me that you’re not acting different or
that nothing is wrong.
I know your melody like an old song,
from the first note on.
Suddenly playing a reprise and the composure is gone.
B. There have been so many lovers
that changed their pitch
halfway through the game.
Hallway through our song
Acting as if I was expected not to notice, though.
While my reflex was to act like I didn’t.
I have never been INSIDE of love,
Although I’ve been at it.
The way you wait on the street
yelling up to a window to be let in.
because you haven’t been answered and just won’t wait anymore.
I have always wanted someone to give me a reason to stay.
Say don’t go,
that you’ll miss me too much.
That you don’t want me to get lost in the wilderness without you,
That you won’t have it.
That you are coming too. But you said, and continue to say, nothing.
Still trying to figure out what to blame for this
of my OWN feelings.
There should be no second or third guesses about whether or not to follow my instincts.
I know this.
Thinking back on things
I had to swallow objections.
The times when I didn’t
and my emotions almost got me outfitted.
I will never again be someone’s winter flower,
blooming at the promise of a warm day.
left in the cold to be frozen in place,
hanging my full beautiful head.
Flare of energy blasted back into the Universe
singed my soul on the way
to the Full Moon.
Now my edges are frayed
and they’re catching wind,
making my pure
As Per Burning Man
Came to the realization that black people in America haven’t yet had the opportunity to determine life for ourselves at large. Meanwhile whites are suffering in the very conditions that they create and continue to perpetuate.
How is it possible that I feel I must be anything BUT a Black Woman in order to be loved by a Black Man?
Perhaps love doesn’t see color but I can.
Can’t rely on blindness leading me back to the promised land.
Why I am not smiling
(and other excuses to be used by Black Men that don’t want Black Women)
Because we are not free.
Unlike you, I haven’t been given the opportunity
to forget that.
I have ancestors and future leaders screaming through my veins
And you no longer share in this pain.
Because I am tired.
Because there is a lot on my mind.
Because it’s a constant battle.
Because I don’t owe you shit.
Praises to the people that know the elementary parts of the ‘I’ in you.
Without you having to know it and them without ample opportunity to show it.
More often that not, having to hold it in a special place.
From before you were yourself and before your sense of self took up space.
They held you.
Whenever I get an idea or the urge to write but I don’t feel like it/would have to go out of my way to do so, I have the thought that perhaps that very thought is the key to changing my life. Like that piece will be what makes the difference. How or why, I’m never sure. But. It keeps me writing.
We need less people that are willing to let others suffer because they have suffered. There are so many women who look on at younger women as they break down because they ‘had to do it by themselves’ or they ‘didn’t have any help’. There are too many men that allow young men to go astray because they ‘didn’t have anyone looking out for them’ or they ‘had to learn the hard way’. We are mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, neighbors– who are unwilling to spare someone else pain with our knowledge and presence because of unresolved trauma within our pasts.
My truth may only exist in relativity,
like the sunrise or sunset.
I still find the beauty in it
consistently enough to return.
This is a birthing, if you will.
Painful and beautiful.
Trepidation concerning the numerous possibilities
but the inability
to call it to a halt.
because there is no other way to life except through birth.
And not a RE birth.
This is a first.
27 years in the making; Everything prior was a tumultuous gestational period.
All tunneling towards now:
for such a time as this.
Here lies my past and present so that I can allow my future to begin to take shape. All this clearing out is allowing my life and words more space to become bigger than I had ever imagined it would. I am grateful to be able to have such release on the day of Spring Equuinox in combination with the Full Moon. Growth, change, and release of the old that no longer fits. I wish the same energy of renwal for you, reader, if you so desire. May your passion reignite and burn away all that has held you apart from it.