nana died. sometimes daddy isnt here. sometimes i sit so still that i kind of want to be invisible. except Mommy always sees me. so i smile.
im pretty sure no one person should watch this much Buffy in one sitting when my Mom comes in. she peers at my sunken form on the couch. been in relatively the same spot since graduation. i cant afford college though i got in places. i cant hop off to see the world, but i can turn on the tv. im not good enough. i cant leave and move forward. i cant go back to high school. i cant-
enough, she says. she picks up my blanket, muttering in Spanish that you are who you are and you are where you are. then she unceremoniously dumps me on the floor of my future. so i get a job.
we fight about me cutting my hair. we fight about schools. we fight about the dishes and cleaning the bathroom. so i go away.
Ma calls. she’s hurting. she’s busy with the little ones. she’s angry. she needs help. she misses me. so i go home.
my Mother pushes me to write. to create. to paint. to be better. so i get a masters.
sometimes when life’s too stressful and there’s deadlines and i cant finish anything and i shouldnt be a writer and i suck compared to everyone else and im tired–
she hugs me and smiles. so i smile.
the letter always bled for her for her eyes (brown as those old bottles in the medicine cabinet) bleeding words like teardrops yet without spilling onto the green tile floor those words always pure only staining the paper glossy black ink blood like muslin stuck to an old wound those words always strong yet blurred, obscure words only a scholar would find obscene
happy are those who die because they have returned to those first crumbs of dirt that fed us to that first hole to that soft black and smell of coal
when I was a kid they still burned crosses on Stone Mountain you know
I am old
obsidian war-like headstones jutting out from the ground
stumped, roving, mad
there’s too many mysteries for answers
known unknowns that fill the cracks of conscious when we probably should be paying attention
but I’m over it
that shit will swirl in an endless cycle
pale faces speak, brown preach, women woman all over the place
just provide me with pretty and silly thangs
I’ll cradle the corner and entertain the children
as the world burns
been here, been on
3pc in my purse
resembling that remark
a shadow distorted by the dark
not sorry my persistence
in living is pissing you off
breathe easy youngling. we know you bury yourself in characters, trying to recreate your own story
a hero noir as dark as you
they don’t know the night you’ve faced at such an age.
the lil and lonely homey
hiding behind his mask while the city he loves screams and shoots and beats him down
the quiet one with crossed wires and bloody sneaks
nose deep in a book
when we all know dark side boys don’t read
they’re too black
to fantasize about anything other than their own dry ass reality
we see you future.
you are valid