1).I taught a couple of 4th graders about advocacy.
They all looked up at me
Eyes deliberately policed,
Palms and fingers stalkish,
Like wheat plants.
Notebooks in laps like they knew
Something about their souls
That the paper could never.
2).I’ve decided that when I graduate from undergrad,
While working on my Masters,
I’ll teach some high schoolers.
I want to be the cool nurturer,
With sassy book lessons
And occasional curse words.
They’ll all love me because
They’ll see me in them,
As much as I’ll see them in me.
3).I’m in love with you.
I’m cool with that.
4).My mother’s head nods
are flamboyantly punctual.
She laughs with me,
When her tongue is repatriating
Her desire for god,
But her brain is always in grind mode
And in our home,
Logic says that only what we can see
Is of any value.
That explains why our love is so
Her hugs while I’m away at college.
The dorm will feel like
Adulthood and all the mistakes
I could possibly make.
But I won’t make them.
I’m just tired of disappointing you.
Is like the salty ass
Nappy headed tomboy in the back of the class,
Who wants to hold
Sticky hands with the Social Studies teacher
Because the red pumps she wears on Tuesdays
Makes her dress hike up
An extra 4 inches above her knees.
And if the tomboy leans a bit counter-clockwise
While the teacher is on her tippy toes
With her back turned to the class
Hands above head
Copying lesson to chalkboard,
The tomboy can see the swell of her backside
beneath the polka dotted silhouette of panty line.
Social Studies teacher,
Doesn’t hold sticky hands.
She sanitizes both hands with Purell,
And reminds tomboy to smile more often
As if she has no control over this,
As if she doesn’t see
How hard it is to smile,
When you’re a nappy headed tomboy,
Who is as salty
Fuck that shit.
While the mist was teaching me
How to pleat my skin gregariously
Into my fists,
You were out
Trying to forget me.
That she kisses better than me.
That you held her,
Like a vilified armlet,
Because she asked you to.
Because you needed to,
Hope it worked.
Hope you weren’t actually
Thinking of the way
My voice sounds better
When it hums the modesty of your name,
Into your collarbone.
Hope you didn’t tremble like that.
Hope she doesn’t think
She did anything that the reservation
Of my fingers couldn’t.
Hope you didn’t let her believe that.
Hope it’s not true.
Hope you still checked your phone afterwards,
To make sure,
I wasn’t spilling my tempestuous nerves
Into a text message,
About how stupid I am,
About how silly
These walls make me.
About how fluctuant my tough is
When it’s compromised.
About the way
My heart is aching for home.
About how home is where you are.
Except you were with her.
She is not home.
Doesn’t tangle in the stir of her name.
Its too simple.
Nothing like you.
I never sent that text message.
Too worried that you would
Shove it back
and watch me choke dust with it.
Can’t blame you for needing something better.
But I won’t kiss you the same.
My lips will forever be struggling
Do outdo a memoirists’ residual ownership.
This is still home.
Everything is still the way you left it.
Wipe your feet on the mat.
Lock door behind you.
Make this the last time we ever have to
Balance on opposing livewires.
It’s almost 5:30.
I told Dad
I would be there at 5:30.
In this train car
We sway like loquacious sonograms.
We could all be children and earth bound again
If we weren’t checking the time.
If we all didn’t have somewhere we really
Really needed to be.
Caucasion cassanova stands next to me.
Hidden behind Prada shades,
Similar to the ones my mother’s old lover
Bought for my 16th birthday.
His arm brushes mine.
It was intentional.
I know this by the way
His palms grip the handlebars,
Like his games are tattooed to metal,
And he needs to make sure
He’s digging for the right one.
I tense up,
Pretend to ignore the bravado
Of his composure.
He leans over to whisper into my ear,
“Take my number.”
“I don’t have a phone.”
In all of this,
I know that he could never have looked close enough
To know that seven hours later,
I would be coagulating his entire existence
Into a group of petty stanzas.
That he doesn’t know,
That in my head
all men who stare at me too hard
Are potential sexual predators.
He doesn’t know that I learned this at 7,
When I first experienced carpet burns,
And terror all at the same time.
He doesn’t know that he offended the fuck out of me.
And that if I didn’t have somewhere to be,
I might have decided to be 7 again,
But a lot stronger.
Unreasonably aching between the legs,
below my abdomen.
But a lot stronger.
With stronger fists,
And better face to save.
It’s 76th street.
He has somewhere to be.
He gets to his destination before me.
Before he exits the subway car,
He leans over once again,
An uncouth debacle romancing mouth,
To call me beautiful
Remove his shades,
And wink the green of his eyes at me,
As if this would make him appear
Or less harmful.
I’ve met his type before.
Dear white Cassanova:
I wouldn’t give the rest of my innocence to you
In a phone call,
Or a hotel room,
If the heavens could reassure me
A new name
Or a new mouth to collect spirits with.
3rd night on the Omer Calendar: Netzach ShebeChese “Valor of Love”
I’m a mortar shelled kind of girl.
are broken down saloons
At 4 A.M.
On Christmas morning.
They all sound
Like double faceted scenographers.
Everything empty about them echoes,
Like I’m supposed to know
How to fit tongue inside of them.
Like knowing makes a difference.
Bravery is a monogrammed handbag,
A peddling huckster
with every intention of bartering
the tailwind of my concession.
Is a jilted suitcase.
All hidden pocket,
And seaside view.
There have been too many misidentifications;
This wasn’t your passport to begin with.
You want the truth?
Just all whispers.
Inadequacy not bashful enough to offer,
when the will is snuffed.
My uncle wants to collect himself
On my mother’s living room couch.
a laminated lifeline.
and shattered China.
They all fit into his mother,
The way he remembers her.
He remembers her coastal liner.
Elastic enough to deflect sunlight.
Before the last two,
Was a hydrogen swallowing puddle of empty.
All broken china,
And broken men.
They just lie there,
And lie there.
But post finger-nailed abortions.
The above said womb is now,
Even in her death,
A come and go memorial.
A collection of the things they left behind.
a hand, a heartbeat,
a partially charismatic smile.
Is scrounging for things
That were never there
In the first place.
My couch cusions,
Hide no tree branches.
Your father has never been here,
Nor has your heritage.
You come from a line of men,
Who have learned how to disregard their shoe sizes
In discussions of personal potency.
From a line of women,
Who brandish their suicides in nightfall,
I swear sometimes,
Your eyes do weird things.
Like they might have shined.
You were the almost one.
The sixth out of nine.
Like you could have shined.
My uncle is the kind of man,
Who remembers caution,
Only after he’s lost another piece of himself.
You might find your heart beat
Above the cervix of the woman
Still carrying your child.
Move a little quicker;
I hear that your heartbeat
Is still the echo of a fighting chance.