The Day Misery Knocks

Don’t fret the day misery

knocked at your door

you knew he’d come

take off his shoes

break all your rules

put a squeeze on your toothpaste tube

dirty up the tub

use all the ice cubes

He hadn’t lain in your lap

to tell you he’d stay

If he reaches the door, leaving

he comes right back immediately, saying

i left my keys

can you wash these

more time please

to gather his things

But remember this

you are king of all you survey

if misery has overstayed a welcome

show him the way

because only you have the key

My Sadness Sits Around Me

My sadness sits around me

not on haunches not in any

placement near a move

and the tired roll-on

of a boredom without grief

If there were war

I would watch the hunting

I would chase the dogs

and blow the horn

because blood is commonplace

As I walk in peace

unencountered unmolested

unimpinging unbelieving unrevealing

undesired under every O

My sadness sits around me

–June Jordan

Burnt Brown Sugar

I wondered if it tastes like brown sugarimages (14) the way you’d kiss my skin hungry You never told me that your lips like plump pockets knives were devised to devour my sanity These were visceral screams of pitiful self-esteem etched and bound into the seams of this epidermis because of the way you looked at it This is for the boy who paralyzed my sense of touch and any loving hands would just feel like his claws again I remember hickies on my breasts hating that you had bitten into my chest in an effort to get to my heart straight through my rib cage playful pokes of lust as you joked you’d choke the life out of me if I told I am tired from over exhausting battle but I remain a soldier forging on to inevitable victory, keep fighting until you get sick of me as fear fucks me alone in the dark            tears stream as he thrusts harder and harder                                I scream but there is no sound                                     now I lay me down to sleep                                                                I pray thee lord my soul to keep I pray, with my face buried in the sorrow filled pillow will he still be there tomorrow? I toss off covers and stumble through my black blanket looking for comfort the storm has blurred their vision and they can’t see that I have cried those raindrops look closely at my cheek, you can trace the salty path everyone’s distracted by the lightening’s wrath as it whips and cracks light across her back she lies on her back                                        cracks her legs and submits to him again and again wondering when the storm will end She reaches out wanting to touch her ancestors feel the drums as they play in the background of sweltering heat as the sunrises off the coast of New Guinea bucking the land and tonguing the plains with fire She reaches out to the water pooled on the ceiling splashes her mouth and thighs inside is a river as deep and wide as the Mississippi She reaches out but can only feel fear sweating next to her Measured my worth by my hipsIMG_94542 so I changed my walk, trying to not exist in a place that reflected a face you were so eager to kiss This is for the boys who need to learn to touch without breaking

Nigeria’s 223

She jumped

hurling her body onto the tumbling street

cartwheeling into a cacophony of broken limbs

She sprinted

driving the crests of her knees into her little chest

praying to not fall prey to self righteous Allah sadists

gathering freedom into her lungs

as she fled her captors

The captives

276 little girls kidnapped


Taken under the baking sun

from their classrooms for learning western ideals

for learning

Yanked out of beds weighed down with soft dreams

shoved onto the back of trucks in streams

like chattel cattle

Sell them.

Sell them?

hundreds of small human beings

all brown skin, frightened eyes, and quivered lips

Nigerian. Muslim. and Beautiful.

Like my sister and brother

like lavender blood moons

like a call to prayer at sundown

like wind kissed desert sand dunes

I hear you



i know why

I know why the caged bird sings

I know why she tries to fly with broken wings

I know why

I know why

Because deep inside

Something is hurt


I know why the dying bird cries for love

I know why her sing rings to the heavens above

Because she knows

She will die all alone

And cold

I know why she is blind to what hope brings

I know why she is incapable of these things



The other birds have all abandoned her

She is not a dove or a swan

No beauty for the light to shine on


God, I know why but I can’t help her

Because I am also a prisoner

Refugee of my thoughts

Captive of my heart

I can never fix the mangle, mold it into something better

So I bury myself in the shade of my cage

To await death’s laughter



There is no love for me

beyond bars the lying stars

rain acid on my dreams

singe my feathers and burn my beak

no tweet or sing to be sung

for the lonely birdy out on her own

without a flock

I know why she calls him back

The sorrowful raven with promises of tomorrow

Longing to trust all the black parts of him

I know why, stiff and dead

She points her head to the rising sun

And waits for love

that will not come

Waiting in Vain

I’m torn between holding on and letting go

selfish self-preservation is a main goal

but  I’m scared to receive that one phone call

informing me that she’s gone


one of my sisters, a cousin I haven’t talked to in years


Dead Rose

It happened

Not to be nostalgic

but I remember how our ridiculous matching

indian prom dresses caused such a commotion

I found yours in the back of my closet

picture perfect

the anticipation of the high school crew disbanding for college studies

our lives at the tip of a new beginning

Time keeps moving her away, ripped like the pages of our friendship

Guilt motivates the guilty

as she

weighs down steps to purchase dime bags

laced with notoriety

the plight of bouncing through foster homes like basketballs

with substitute parents black as asphalt

Even now I can hear her clattering call

ring through the halls

I’m somewhere between

a past and current status of an aged friendship

tossed by life’s tests

We all need a helping hand

and maybe our paths will converge again

even though I can’t stand in the middle of the road

waiting in vain

for her to come home