After lunch he lays in her lap. She twists his hair while they watch game shows and soaps. He feels her up; she slaps his hand. Your head is heavy. She twists some more. They go out for a walk holding hands. His father’s neighborhood does not have the eyes of hers or his mom’s and as free as she feels here she knows the escape is not permanent. So when we gonna do this again?
But he has known since he met her that the girl on the other line owns herself. Only you surprise yourself by how much. You worry when he laughs, “Just wondering.” But there is more than wondering you hear.
There is never a question and this, too, you believe appropriate to the narrative. His forcefulness is desire. His kisses, all tongue with nary a preliminary peck, are invitations not to be denied. And why would you deny them? You like him. You like his kisses. You enjoy his touch. What should come next is a part of the narrative you have not been given from The Women. So you wing it with what you believe. They give you onomatopoeia and warnings against Temptation and anecdotes about being Fast. You’re not Fast. And until now are not easily given to Temptation.
" I think He wanted it to be told to show the magnitude of His mercy." Salute Mr. Vertus Hardiman. http://www.holeinthehead.com/
I’m supposed to be grading papers but I can’t stop thinking about my writing projects [Breathing Lessons especially]…and my workout (which I’m about to miss if I don’t finish my work and go to bed). But, yeah, Breathing Lessons…
I make lists. It’s what I do.
I also take unsmiling pictures of myself. Shoot me.
I write a lot more journal-y stuff than poetry. But trust me: I’m a poet.
I have the binders. A degree. The tortured soul to prove it.
But back to this thing about lists.
I often think of young women; the lessons I think we fail to teach them and how we might better serve them and our world if we did. By we, I mean women who have been there and made it (somewhat anyway) through.
What ” to do” list could we give them to get them through that decade–what could I have told told me that would’ve encouraged me beyond my doubts? Probably nothing that I would’ve believed, but here’s a list I would’ve given my 20something self anyway:
I was serious most of the time. But the truth…
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begin/rant 1. Make no mistake: mainstream media nor the social media outlets from which we often get our "news" have not suddenly gained a conscience. The daily graphic portrayals of state violence against socioeconomic underdogs (for our purposes let's just say black men though you do know there's also been a rash of murders of [...]
A Guide to Picking Scabs She was a melancholic girl then she was a young woman with a sweet public face and private potty mouth. She felt unloved but mostly unnoticed, unsure, and determined. (To be better wasn’t her mission; to deal or die was). She spent an inordinate amount of time considering her own [...]
fellowship/publication submissions: 1 fellowship/publication acceptances: 2 fellowship/publication rejections: 3 books: Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone by James Baldwin (still reading) Secret Shame: Winter whimpering Mantra of the Moment: Rome wasn't built in a day.
Something Like an Asshole, or, How to Read the Rind You know the greasy spot on the side he never sleeps on is a sign. Your palms are a sign: The body is more water than flesh. And if you know how to interpret It right the way a mango peels, meat stripping itself like [...]
Certainty has a way of fooling you into believing that forever is no further than the eye can see; is adaptable if not unchanging. And fair.
You asked for a reason. Something worth living for;
something you could die for.
Not having one is the best one of all. I could’ve told you then.
But daybreak dresses us best. And searchers scour the dark like vultures seek prey.
That’s all. That’s why.