Flowing Like Milk and Honey

Words don't escape me, I let them out silky and smooth like warm honey…

We hold hands and clutch
tight with our fingers sweaty and
white-tipped
in the delicious fear
of being caught
at first love’s kiss
that risk of wanting a taste of my
cherry-glossed lips
draws you in closer
and my heart races not only
at the warm smell of your skin and not because
soon people will begin to pass our corner
wanting their few moments alone
with the risk of first love’s kiss
but because I am ready
to test my technique
(practiced on the soft side of my fisted hand)

I think you hesitate in want of
someone seeing you steal
the sweetness from me
pride in boys is tempting
but the silver-braced smile
and the sweet smell of my cherry lip-gloss
are too much for you
and you lean in
and kiss me
with the swiftness
of a moment
turned memory
and the risk becomes
the worth
of a first love

Risky

It’s the year of the light-skinned!
No wait,
the era of the dark-skinned!
PLEASE
let’s all agree that Black has always been
beautiful
Your recent pride does not make it…
fashionable.
Black is not a trend
and cannot be emulated or retroactively acquired
by anyone.
Though, acknowledge that my attire and hair IS
fashionable.

Thank God and Glory for your Black beauty,
ladies and gentlemen
my melanin and your melanin
both kissed by the same sun
our varying degrees are shades of love
made by sunlight and
an open sky
raise that face to mother Sun
so that everything in nature can see
we too are the flowers
blooming in a rainbow
of brown beauty
nut-brown,
cocoa,
chocolate,
chestnut,
golden,
amber,
caramel,
mocha,
tan,
burnt umber,
ebony,
coffee,
and all the shades in between.
I am so blessed
that Black
is beautiful.

Fashionable

I am not
without understanding.
I need you to know that.
I begin to speak and you don’t
even
hear
me.
You say, you see me. See, that’s
the thing with you visually
aroused
audio impotents.
You see me
but you don’t hear me.
I’m speaking words so deep and proving my point so clear
that if this conversation was the Atlantic Ocean,
I’d be the light shining within the
Mariana Trench
and you’d be
the shadow of a child’s
plastic sailboat.
Conversely lacking the stimulation
that I need.
You say that you see me
and you smile
and I smile
and I pretend that what you say is intelligent
and funny
and that the sound of your voice
isn’t like a hum of a refrigerator.
So that when I speak
you’ll listen and not be afraid
of the depth of what I really have to say
I’m not a vision, I’m the visionary.
I’m not a joke, I’m the belly rumbling
laugh
I am all of the thoughts
and expressions
At the bare minimum,
a woman’s essence.
So, don’t be afraid of what I say
when I answer
what you ask.
You see, I’ve been
waiting to be heard,
to be understood.

Exceptional

before we lost
everything
our senses
our humanity
our purpose in life
we read books
and shared thoughts
and discussed our differences
we learned to acknowledge
and tolerate
the things that made us
a beautiful mosaic
created by
blessed by
loved by God

the importance of what we are
became the significance of what we could be
and instead of dwelling
on irrelevant details
and differences
in worship
and thought
and love
we had everything
our senses
our humanity
our purpose in life

one day, I hope to believe we
were and are
not irrelevant
beasts like other animals
soon to be extinct

Irrelevant

I take a knee in
protest just as we would in prayer.
But what do you want me to
pray for?
The very thing
that I should be guaranteed,
the very thing
that was promised by birth?
The commonality
of us?
How you are simply
descendent from the
ancestors you share with
the cousins you stole
and sold
and humiliated
and dehumanized
so that you could sell
your soul?
No, I refuse to feel
irrelevent simply
because you are insignificant
in your understanding
of why
my blackness can’t be irrelevant
to society?

Irrelevant

Sometimes I succumb
to the lullaby of Saturday evening
with everything to do
and time to do it
but no desire to move beyond
the few feet of comfort
that being at peace
with no agenda
or alarm clock
but still rising before
eight
and napping by noon
reading Coates and Kendi
and listening to Jill and Anthony
while my mind
makes lists
and sends warnings
of how these lazy moments
will create a very hectic Sunday afternoon
with everything to do
and no time to do
but for now, I succumb
to the laziness
that fives me peace

Succumb

This time is different
unlike the peaceful, pragmatic
vision and
version
brought to you by Martin,
this time will be different.
Do you know how it feels
to be Black in America?
to wake up Black
in a world marked
by racists
like a rabid dog’s piss on a tree?
Now the hoods aren’t
needed
and my second amendment rights
are NOT the same as yours.
I have the right to be
shot down by the very
person sworn to protect
me
because,
I was born black in America.
But, I’m not Martin.
I’m paying attention.

I hear your calls
no longer hidden in the night
no longer fearing decency.
I feel your blows
no longer striking from a distance
no longer fearing humanity.
I know your rage
no longer hindering your words
no longer taming your hate.
But, I’m not Martin.

I will answer your calls
with words and battle cries of my own.
I will take your blows
as long as mine strike you hardest
and last.
I am the rage
no longer hidden by the false
security society created.
I am the monster your daddy told you to fear
the dually-educated
fervently vocal
and unabashedly proud
Black woman threaded so intricately
into the pattern of
your society
that to pull my string
would unravel this world.
The edges are frayed because
I’m not Martin.
Know that hate you feel
made me who I am
at this very moment.

Now,
let me return the favor.

Say bye to Martin as you welcome
Stokely,
Fred,
Marcus,
Malcolm,
and Angela.

This time, we will either finish
or there will be no peace.

Deny
Focused

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