Conversations

It was one of those mornings. You know the kind, where you wake still tired because you were crying and the cat tried to suffocate you in the night

your shirt ripped

tripped over your shoes

your knees sing the blues running for the bus

forgot to eat breakfast

so far nothing can go right, kind of mornings

I’m on my daily commute…upset, marveling at the homeless war vet stretched across four seats when this guy floats next to me. Feeling nothing but energy, I peer left and right, wondering what’s calling me out of the morning funk. It whispers a small command to smile

which I ignore.

Then my shoulder feels a gaze that’s uncharacteristically heavy. There he is scrounged in the corner, waiting for me to break the levy.

‘Hi’ spills out awkwardly to which he replied with a giant grin, eyes lighting up like Christmas

‘I was sending out the vibes, praying you weren’t hiding today’

as the thought of stalker creeps around the back of my brain, he had a   sip my my herbal tea in a dashiki when no one’s looking ambiance

hopscotch back to the gurgling in my stomach

he flips his dreads every couple of minutes so they cascade away from his face

In haste, he says ‘I’m getting off soon’.

I’m not.

He’ll be on in the afternoon.

I wont.

‘What do you do?’

I work on a corporate plantation. He laughed, heartily, enjoying the satire

saying that’s why he’s a kindergarten teacher

diving head first into political views and inside jokes like we were best friends and I had known him for years

He missed three whole stops that day just for a conversation…

 

 

 

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Why Worry Of Tomorrow:Part 2

I hear her running at break neck speed

over mountains and cliffs

praying the wind will catch her wings

spread eagle

as flying Africans

no constraints up here

no heavy palmed emotions to hold me

no responsibility to weigh me

no time to track me

no more voices in my inner ear

The wind’s so thick

that I can only hear the music

my breathe humming

syncing with my heartbeat

up here

all concepts and constructs are a myth

among cumulus clouds

I wait with patience

Why Worry of Tomorrow: Part 1

why worry of tomorrow 

with wrinkles from the past

head pounding

heart racing

sweating happiness and pain

fear and joy

hollow rage

clump within, pits of writhing emotion

I stabbed my shoulder to flick the chip out

the remnants dissipate into the blood stream

what is normal

what is today

the present’s absence boils the curd to the surface

I wear the feelings on my skin to keep the secret

I scrub them off every morning 

watch them clog the drain

time whips 

demands attention in all directions

like erections in sleep 

work fades, a monotonous track on repeat

deep introspection

leaves me wallowing inside

replaying lucid memories and poetry

while the world moves around me

I’m never awake

I never left the theater 

the lights are all dimmed

there’s popcorn at my feet next to the sticky candy treats

I’ve been watching this movie for two decades

hoping the heroine will change

rearrange the free floating feelings flowing through

her veins, heroin

misplaced purpose

I scream, don’t just lay there at the screen

unball your fist

dismantle that smile 

save yourself from the sins of your fathers

 

 

 

 

Street Balconies Can Cry

a small breeze blows through his cerulean sweater

as he stares off into the distance

the dancing lights below

the fire escape

lean under his weight

i see him

at first he is steady, Herculean

imagining the jump

All at once he crumples into himself

like folded paper

back against the wall

he screams

burying his face as tears race

drowned out by the bustle

the pedestrians shuffle

through intersections, restless

they glide about oblivious

as just above them a man’s love dies

The bricks nick his sweater and I want to comfort him

to brush down the stray hairs with wet fingertips

it will get better

His lover peeks

out of the shadow

sneaks onto the ledge

to whisper a liar’s prayer

and hope that he isn’t there         crying

i need him

they meet

words pass silently and all at once

the sad eyed blue of the brown man

stands

yelling,

from what i could tell from here,

all his heart feels

the carnal cardinal red

of the lovers

dread

hangs into his face

shading his shame

i should help end this

here

waiting

underneath the fire escape

 

 

The Call: Part One

I am the coming development

envelopment of progress, oh yes

that vacant lot you park your rental benz

in front of is embarking

I’ve been called on from city government high

to cut down the weeds sprouted into trees

clear the land, so to speak

trash, discarded shopping carts, and birthday cards

to be tucked deep

into your memory

Make way for the gentrified mortar and bricks of an

Aid-Rite… “Your Get Right In A Hurry”

don’t take offense this is just business

a much bigger family than your province

Look we care  for the urban community

creating all these jobs, revenue, and unity

breaking down this ugly eye sore of a vacant lot

for crisp

clean

profit

Stop it

we don’t have time

for your repine

you can’t fight the new world order

with your skewed cognizance

You could’ve built a playground or a garden

a community hub to grow-in

instead

you have chosen

to languish

weaken

on a stoop with $5 Chinese food when

Lucky Garden

sells their colorful candy packs

next to the fruity cigar wraps

and condoms

because those are the

products your people perpetuate

the children your people germinate

the fat, fucked, and lazy

spitting them out like vending machines with hood dreams

you think you can lay claim to those blocks you don’t own

no assets no appreciation

a mortgage not even a rent note

little do you know

I can flood these streets with police

trumped up charges and property leans

un-subsidized loans

unpaid taxes

I can take your home

I am what’s next

I am revitalization

there will be no more dead lots and drug spots

the path of my destruction will enter

it will either leave you in jail

or in the system swallowing repetition until you’re too old to function

in the meantime

we’ve secretly siphoned social security and that bullshit retirement fund

so please

lose focus

it won’t make a difference

I am

still coming

 

 

 

A Brief Guide To Walking Home Alone. While Female. And Black. And in the Hood.

Don’t smile

for some reason smiling is a sin that tempts the devil inside most people to cross that line

between polite and creepy

Don’t fear the boys who follow you

like dogs sniffing at the scent of your heels pressing the pavement

running will only encourage those emboldened by the cover of night

Never slouch or try to disappear into yourself

this will only make them want you more

Hold your chin parallel to the ground

more often than not they just want the queen they see gliding by to soften

to cuddle their crusted over sense of rage and rejection

to hold not knowing how so they reach out and grab

You remind them of ma and grandma pounding yam in the kitchen before dinner

of Sunday school mornings and hide-and-go-freak evenings

of their first dirty magazine

and the embarrassment of not knowing how to kiss because no one tells them what they’re expected to know

Don’t offend when skulked

Watch your shadow in a reflection

it will meet a person too close

before your eyes do

Don’t back down when challenged

and balance your bags on both shoulders

Don’t let that comment burrow inside

I know you’re tired

but home is waiting just there

and that place

you should keep safe…

and defend

by any means

necessary.