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
every time you
tell your daughter
you yell at her
out of love
you teach her to confuse
anger with kindness
which seems like a good idea
till she grows up to
trust men who hurt her
cause they look so much
Milk and Honey– Rupi Kaur
no stabbing demons
or slaying dragons for me
I didn’t save your legs from breaking
or solve the world’s aching
heroics aren’t really my thing
no mountain of lies did I chip away at
or speak great truths to be had
I lack luster and deservedness
less than special
but I did get through this day
Doggedly rode out the pain
in between bad caffeine shots
and propped eyelids and bandaged hearts
because the mission mandates
that I just
make it to tomorrow
Bolted upright I ask aloud to a sleeping room
“Is this a dream”
The timbre of my voice weighs down my ears, letting
me know that it’s not
Instinctively I feel for the dip.
Tiredness shoves me back into the pillow as if to say,
“Yes it always was but you knew that already”
I pray for answers that won’t come from simply having been asked
I used to pray loudly
out in a pasture where no one but ghosts could witness
now everything’s silent mutterings as I lull myself back
“It’s okay. It was a good dream.
Good dreams get to end.”
I am not African-American
there’s no dash needed
a native spook who sat by the door
listening for opportunity,
devout in my non
You’ll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life’s
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
never mix up your right foot with your left.
By Dr. Seuss
It’s not so much the truth that bothers
Truths like lies
can sometimes shift
so whether they’re spat or whispered
they’ll always unfold
It’s the lying that kicks up the brick dust
The you can lie to them, we all do it
We’re all a them to someone
Where honesty hung off the tongue ready to dive
there’s only omission
a clean unwillingness
to break down and be an outright liar
Cowardly, feverish, but ready
my truth will lay in wait in trenches of jowls
Let the world have it
Fuck’em my shit is self evident
If ever you are in the room with those
Lost in the reverie of poetry
And struggling to guide their thoughts, they close
Their seeking eyes to help them better see;
If ever you have watched a poet’s face
Composing line within a world inside
No other soul can witness nor divide;
Then you are not alone in wond’ring, “Where,
While all their flesh and blood on Earth remains,
Do poets take their thoughts before they bare
Them back transformed? Where is a poem’s domain?”
This verse will not reveal from whence it came,
And poets–they write poems to explain.
Do men dream in the same way that women do?
Do they cradle a dream to their chest, minding its head as if it’s fragile neck would snap?
Do black men dream big?
Men hold fast to so many things,
Or at least I can’t imagine many of them knowing what it feels like to have a dream
Hold you back
I will never leave you
No matter how hard the future gets
That we will make it through and survive this thing called life,
So, deferred, what is it that becomes of them? They build or preach or teach. Men may accept a lesser reality, a shallow dream that isn’t sweet enough to satisfy anyone. A sliver at a time they accept the life they have come to live, and, every once in awhile, learn to silence the hope that builds up in their chest
-excerpt poem from my book in progress called ‘A Man Deferred’. Let us know what you think!
Behind these great walls
painted ladies frame the fences
watch them crumble
cracked open by time
the wind, breathing in and out
bright bricks fall
they hit us hard
we don’t dodge the drops
we stand steady
yelling each other’s names
loving all the way down
beneath the wreckage