Monday, September 18, 2017

Almost Strangers by Easter

There are gallows in my mind to which
I know you will never dedicate your gaze.

Perhaps you think the same of me.

That night,
I made the profound mistake of looking past you, and singing,
“Will you still love me tomorrow?”

When I returned my attention,
you were already covered with the blood of the future.

So we soon devolved into acquaintance,
almost strangers by Easter,
but the scars of your kisses upon my brow
waited until summer to fade, fade, fade.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Leaving of May

When a woman gets the blues, she hangs her little head and cries
But when a man gets the blues, he grabs a train and rides

--Jimmie Rodgers, "Train Whistle Blues"


May left for Bombay the day MCA passed away
(But she was a Wu-Tang woman herself)
She changed lovers every week
but her sheets still smelled so sweet;
at least for the while she made me smile

Though May had never feigned—
far too moral for that—
Jeff felt bereft the day May left
and he cried for MCA,
but I knew it was for May

So I patted Jeff’s back,
though I never knew his rack
‘till May came back in May

and, one more day, she took me back

Friday, April 14, 2017

The One Who Lets You Cry

One cloudy, coastal afternoon,
hiding deep within your dim apartment
(the smell of the ocean drifting through your open window)
you dug your sharp chin and crooked nose
into your tearful downpour upon my left shoulder.

It was not long before…
when the roles were reversed.

Resilient in tornado winds,
a strength sprouts from the fertile soil of your vulnerability.
So open to pain that you weather its resolve.

Someday,
my brother’s children will ask me about the wondrous things I have experienced,
and I will tell them what you taught me:

"Life will push you into oceans deep
and will clear a path made of swamp.
So always keep your shoulder dry
for the one who also lets you cry.”

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Our touching is a Revolution


She lay her head naked on my chest,
which was her second favorite part of me
(other than my backside).

She thought about the world beyond my room
and its bloodhounds, trained and stupid, nipping at our heels.
Our touching is a Revolution, she whispered.
I wish it were not so, I responded.

I only felt her slide a few times
in the shadow hours she stayed before
she exited the bed.

Go back to sleep, Baby, she said as she dressed.

Then, as silent as the Infinite to the most ardent Dreamer,
she left.

That was our revolution: silent.

And it remains forever so.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Skin to Metal

Twice,
I’ve had a knife pointed at me.
And an older girl groped me, unannounced,
when I was young enough to fantasize
but not old enough to understand.

I, too, have threatened with weapons and words,
and have forced my hands and lips onto lips and hips innumerable.

I tried to separate my-self from my…

body

Standing, skin to metal
(where I have been the skin
and I have been the metal)
(where some folks—not me—stand daily)

I…

Pound my chest every morning and weep.