my brain, a noisy thing

Tell me how sadness
always sits shotgun,
plants roots and intertwines
your foot to pedal,
hands to wheel
and takes you somewhere
you never wanted to go.
It sits like a phantom limb
spewing some kinetic mantra,
something about worth
until the engine stalls and
you crash.

Here comes the
endless conversation:
play your role
as eyes snap open
between parted fingers,
swollen and split.
A world now tilted,
you see life like
mosaic tiles of
a sacred text
you can no longer read.

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Emmett Louis Till

If you listen, closely
above the current
there is a whistling tune
on the banks of
the Tallahatchie.
It bends and flows up
past the Mason-Dixon
and into streets of
Chicago, where
it transforms
and becomes an angry plea.
Water tainted with
innocent blood enmeshed
with these false cries;
fingers pointed,
then guns.
ill-fated from birth,
predetermined notions
handed out by those
who want to act as
the hand of God.

Has everyone completely forgot about Emmett Till? Do they even learn his name in schools?

Do they not know there are thousands of Tills still in our streets and even more in our cemeteries, if they’re lucky…as if any of this has to do with luck.

same shit, different year

intent

His spirit was tousled,
unbuttoned and falling apart;
washed out, speaking
in an eroded language.
His world consisting of
checking pulses and
hiding bloodshot eyes:
insomnia of the heart,
fighting to feel anything.
If only we came with
warranties at birth,
a sense of urgency
to keep breathing

depression

a faceless emotion
eyes squinting, fixated
bodies as bait —
these thoughts are vultures
perched and waiting for
the kill: for you to give up
and give in.
We are not vessels for sadness
nor marionettes manipulated by
voices that are not our own.

june

thunder,
a soft rain
sits outside
and does not move.
For once,
I do not mind the
grey sky that hangs low
nor the breeze that slips
through the window
and wraps itself around me,
cool but not chilly.
As much as I love the sun
and her steadfast ways
sometimes I need
the calming of the darkness
the Earth’s slow call for a rebirth;
a cleanse of all that I am

immolate

I am the risk —
the canary
brought in by
the need
to be desired;
unpredictable with
words unstable and raw.
Queen of giving second chances,
thinking i’ve been
giving too much,
giving my all…

or nothing
as of lately.
Warning shots fired
and they ring in my head,
but not as loud as you.
I refuse to let go of
what we are
and what we’ll become.
I’m not ready to be
the sacrifice,
the one to end it all.

dna

I used to wear crowns of
white clovers
you would make by hand
during our trips to the lake;
I was always your little princess,
a daddy’s girl.
Every trip to the gas station
would end in sharing a
mint patty
in the Mazda I was too short
to ever see out of.
As I got older,
we would sing Sarah White
to every soccer game and
classic rock on the way back.
Now, even in my twentys
we still go shopping together and
I ask every question known to man
as if I was four again
(and still you don’t complain).
Everyone still tells me that
as a baby I
wouldn’t sleep unless
it was on your chest.
I was your little bear
and you would protect me
at all costs
and now I wish
I could do the same.