Category Archives: poetry

Learnin’

I’m learning what love is, and I’m realizing how little I know. Love

stretches far beyond the heart or any flutter of butterfly wings. It

Is an action full of truth, silence,

And infinity. Maybe I’ve had the formula

Wrong, trying to add pieces that didn’t

Make our equations equal, leaving one side

With more than the other. No, I’m learning

That love is a one-way street in

Manhattan, a road that you and your partner

Must learn to navigate together. They cannot be

Half a person, they can only be whole

If they plan to experience the true love that

We were told about before bedtime. That piece

Of God can only be found after removing

The layers the world smothered our spirits

with, each unraveling, leading to a new

Identity. In order to love someone, you must love yourself

You must accept you scarred knees,  your mistakes that

Only your moist pillow knows, and the way your arms want to

Twirl when the sun kisses your face. Without knowing

These things for yourself, and what they mean, then

How do you expect to discover and define them

In another? Love begins with the self, before it

Can be substituted into someone else’s game. I am

Learning that the next time love decides to

Knock on my door, I should not let her

Into my home; instead, I’ll pack my essentials in

A small bag and leave this place behind,

Taking a journey together, because love is not a

Destination, it is a starting point.

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It’s 4AM, and We’re in Your Car…

We touch,

Like strangers underneath a mistletoe

A familiar scent fills my nose, and I remember everything: the passion we shared, the tears we shed, and I crave it all. I crave you, to feel your nails on my back. Delicately scrawling my skin, just enough to cause my hairs to raise.

How soft your lips each time I press them, your body touching mine.

I fail to realize how much I missed you until I’m about to let you go.

The walls begin to crumble and the sun peeks through the waking haze. The night has fled and our reality is steadily approaching. It hurts, we know what happens once we leave…

So we stay.

Fighting any form of tiredness or responsibility. Desperately latched to a moment unable to be shared any longer, our moment of truth.

Where for a brief instant, we are the constellations at the center of our galaxy.

You are mine, and I am yours.

I am trying to absorb every ounce of you that I can because, deep down, I know I won’t be able to take you with me. You hold onto my lips as if they were the teat of life. Don’t leave me, you whisper in my ear.

“I won’t.”

The lie leaves my lips as we depart from your car, at four in the morning.

Seasonal Suffering

A chill darkness runs between my toes

Soft mud ready to smother my ankles

Hands sore from clawing at the rocks

Lining the walls of this hole

The same hole I find myself in.

 

Have I ever left this place?

Was the sunlight in my face

Just a small ruse from the angels?

 

I kept my eyes toward God

While my black body tumbled

Spiraled down the tunnel

Losing enamel,

Breaking calcium,

Viscera

Seeping out of self-inflicted wounds.

 

Here I am again,

As if I was doomed

Imprisoned the like the hands

Of a grandfather clock

Seeking liberation from this cycle

Only to arrive back at step one,

Reminding me that

I don’t know how to break free.

 

The exits have been sealed

And my palms automatically latch

To the same ridges on the wall

But, deep down 

In the furnace,

My heart hopes

That it gives way

Either due to tears or sweat.

 

Can my back bare this burden,

Like Atlas,

While my face watches the

Last clouds of the day whisper goodbye

To the horizon I never truly witnessed?

 

When will the end come?

What will take the suffering away

And give rest to my frail bones?

Curfew.

Children.

Black children, stay indoors.

Do not beat the pavement

With shoes too small.

These signs are too heavy,

Words written with a ten-ton weight,

You should not be lifting them.

Close the blinds

For seeing will make you suffer,

And suffering will make you strike.

You are too young to know your

Skin makes you a target;

Too young to have death enter your home,

Uninvited;

Too young to have to fight in a race war.

But…

Black children,

We must fight together.

Play with your dolls, but know when it is time

To put them away,

Toss the balls when the game is over.

Your springtime of youth will have rainy days,

And yet, they will help you grow,

In love,

Instead of in fear.

Weary Warrior

The tale of the weary warrior

Is long, but also short.

His goal unknown

Yet, hidden under his shield.

He wanders, through the dreams, the midnight thicket, and cosmos.

Discovering

More of himself

At each destination;

But he struggles,

Often.

Watching his knees buckle, underneath the gravity of his situation

Not all wanders are lost, most are forgotten.

But his journey has brought him to a new beginning.

Liquid State

At what point will my eyes stop revolting? Pushing moisture out instead of saving it to safeguard my sight? Tear after tear after tear they fall, droplets rolling of a dried leaf, the rain that falls before the dawn, like liquid crystals hanging upon a thatched roof.

I am afraid, fearful that this powerful feeling will decide to adhere to my dreams, forming a pond of sadness. each day they congregate, meeting between mustard colored pews, my fears being baptized in the rushing river within my veins. Why, then, do I feel the touch of the moon on my breast, the tides of truth washing over my memories, causing these sandcastles to crumble, and leaving unrecognizable ruins along the shattered shells.

Tell me, when will these tears stop falling? How many reservoirs must be drained before I accept this?

Vast lakes live within my irises, blotches of the depths, hiding the real treasures that have been lost to the abyss.

I am nothing more than a half-empty vessel, a handcrafted vase with etches upon its lip, thirsting for the wellspring, but only granted the spit of the clouded sun. And yet, each day I watch as water leaks, escapes from the pores; and my eyes, my shattered prisms, my scales of shadows and souls. They dare to revolt against the death that draws near to my shore, reminding me that the spirit is liquid at body temperature.

Fog & Farewell

Next to the river bank, I awake

With the scent of death upon my brow.

Droplets shatter against the gray waters

As the ghosts of the forests lull over the drenched leaves.

 

Palms clammy, feet soaked in viscous mud

Eyes full of nightmares long forgotten

Staring into the ominous fog,

While the ripples guide souls to the crypt.

 

The granite rocks, lodged next to the split roots,

Resemble graves,

Soft earth ready to swallow

Another serving.

 

This river is uncharted,

Untouched by the wayward wanderer

Yet I,

Alone,

Know where the delta lies,

Only accessible when the sun is gone,

Lost in the deep horizon.

 

The clouds come down,

to spirit away those who sleep in the woods

At the dusk,

Saying farewell in their final, frosted winter.