Throwing it back real quick right here…
BEYOND EVERY CEILING IS THE SKY
she came in peace,
left pretense at the door
let her baggage lose itself
on his secret closet’s floor.
among the baggage and the skeletons,
she knelt to say her prayers,
but no matter how she tried to sort them
her thoughts cluttered around in there.
she shoved the baggage with the skeletons
and bagged all of it up for trash;
“let the dead bury their dead,” she mumbled,
“we livin’ now not in the past .”
over his tracks she rhymed
lyrics that made the voices in the boys choir deepen
she belied her age with giggles borne of cristal
in the magazine photos she was so fond of keeping.
girlfriend had the money now,
thought that brought her the power and respect,
but she quickly realized that in this game,
he always had next
she remembered when the breakbeat
had skipped up in their bones;
in the 80’s, Right On! illustrated the dreams
she spout on street corner microphones.
her jones with the ’phone became the obsession
for which she decided to sell her soul;
ho’ for dough hustles weren’t bringing home the bacon,
so she upped the ante to achieve her goal.
because she was tired of playing nicely
and she was bored with playing weak,
she decided that without talking
she was finally gonna speak.
she was gonna give up volumes,
gonna let her privacy breathe;
she was gonna stop playing make-pretend
and she was gonna believe.
that’s when he “discovered” her,
and for some ice and c.r.e.a.m. he bought her soul.
ain’t no nigga like the one i got,
he coaxed her to say with promises of silver and gold.
barely off the breast, the size two big momma
was getting played
airwaves were bursting at the seams
to hear what baby girl had to say.
she continued to call on the orisha and muses
spilling sweat, blood, and tears.
she poured them all as libations for the ancestors
and the brothas and sistas who ain’t here.
he didn’t see why she had to thank them;
he was the big cheese with the cheddar.
he slapped her once to remind her
no one can do you better.
for some reason this nudity alarmed him;
stripped of her pain in that closet,
her scars seemed to disarm him.
he gave her a voice of
porno, dipped in politically correct slang;
pawned her power for his pockets;
stole the melody from the notes she sang.
and now she was a chromatic harmony
ticker-taped into her role:
challenged, troubled, at risk, angry
case for charity.
created a brand new character;
though big and baggy had been her style;
(wrap the pain loosely for the healing,
but always button it up with a plastic smile)
adorned her in tight bikinis and ice;
she tried to ignore the chill.
took the passenger seat in his 3-2-6
and pretended her peace was still.
that’s when the orisha told her to get dressed
and the muses shut her up,
the ancestors looked at her shamefully
and without drinking,
the brothas and sistas returned the cup.
he was none the wiser
watching her dress back in herSelf.
it fit kinda funny after all this time,
but she slid in, packed up her tears,