Breathing Lessons’ Growing Pains

...common roles illustrate how Black women, and their sexuality, have often been synonymous with deviance. And reclaiming, repackaging, and/or discarding the roles has given women agency; a control denied the Good Girl who is essentially invisible. She needs that.

A Guide To Picking Scabs

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 [...]

Breathing Lessons 101 — Coming to a City Near You!

Ah, book it! Ooh baby, babeh ba-babeh, babeh... Get up on this! [props to Salt-N-Pepa] Breathing Lessons 101 is building a 2015 calendar and can be in your city, at your venue in 2015!  Let's talk. (Click on photo to enlarge) Can't come to any of the events?  To order Breathing Lessons through 1. Go [...]

The Girl Shell

First Love,I just wanted to thank you. I already hear you: for what? Well, I don’t know how to name it exactly, but I can try to explain it.I didn’t believe I was special back then. Not really. Okay maybe. But not special. I wasn’t exactly convinced by you, but you worked at convincing me. [...]


Ugh drafting...or oooh drafting.  I haven't decided which, but in the meantime: SURRENDER He had the patience of a saint for a girl socialized to make him prove her worth; to corroborate an alibi she wasn’t convinced was true. And so when she finally surrendered to his postponed kiss; when she interrogated the nape of [...]

Good Girls

(About Breathing Lesson 101) I was 25 the first time I fully understood. I was navigating the tenuous journey of the Good Girl. At the time I was being courted by an older man who decided out loud and before our first real date that I was a sexual outlier—an adult virgin. The encounter was [...]

How Life Leaves Us (Final Girl series, cont’d).

So fiction is part of this Final Girl series. Full disclosure: I stopped trusting my fiction after a too-long stint in middle and high school with novellas about girls named Raisin.  Yes, those stories happened.  Of course, the day may come when I side eye this the same way. But for now, here goes... --d [...]

The Bitch That Killed His Vibe

They try to identify her by markings that are not plotted on the map of the conversation on the slippery couch scan them for something you call recognition knowing full well the purple of her, borrowed from you to place on a pedestal like you promised her boyfriend & of course, missing in the description [...]

Tropism (Anyway) (Final Girl Series, cont’d.)

Author's Note: Sometimes I feel like I’m writing the same poem a million different ways; as if I have no new stories to tell.  I used to stop writing when I started feeling like I was writing the same story because I usually defined the topic and/or experience that informed the topic as negative—not negative [...]