There are 9 ways to say “Yes”: Affirmative

“You hold a lot of tension in your lips-”
“Yes.”

“That wasn’t a question-”

“Oh. Yes okay, go on.”

“You please people a lot-”

“Yes-”

“Will you let me finish?”

“Sorry. Yes. Go on.”

“Is that the only thing you can say?”

“Yes?”

“Yes.”

“Yes- I mean n-”

“Why-”

“Why what?”

“Why do you always..”

“Yes?”

“YES”

“Are you a yes woman?”

“…No.”
There was a solemn silence and her answer drifted from one mouth to receiving ears.
“Good.”

There are 9 ways to say “Yes”- Preoccupied

I made too much room,

In my home with no foundation;

For a person who 

Didn’t plan on paying rent,

Didn’t intend on using the dresser drawer- 

that I reserved for them,

Who didn’t want to furnish the basement.
I made too much space,

In my life with an tentative driveway;

For a person who

Put me on the back burner,

Put me on bottom shelf of the broken bookcase,

Who put me in second place.
That house is no longer up for sale- 

Highest bidder agreed-

“‘Twas time to go-”

“Mmhmm.” I replied, scanning the roof shingles, hanging on by one collective nail, awaiting a big bad wind to blow it down, lifting up from its place ever so slightly knowing it must stay put til’ told to let go.
Like Pipes in Winter, I burst.

Like Dawn at 5, I break.

Like Doves in the Wind, I release.

4%

Four percent feels like:

Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou’s don’t matter when Emily Brontë’s in the room 

Four percent feels like:

“You hair’s too distracting in the classroom”

Four percent feels like:

Another hashtag on the horizon 

For a fallen black child in an unwanted war on the people of color yet in another state

Stating, Shouting out, Spewing 

“White America has the upper hand and the iron fist”

Four percent feels like:

Being token and taken for granted in a classroom where you are the-

One and only of your ethnicity 

Four percent feels like:

Every child of color’s acceptance into a white college is “affirmative action”

Every child of color’s acceptance,

Isn’t accepted,

Every child of color’s acceptance

Into a white college is “unbelievable and surprising”

Four percent feels like:

White hoods in white hoods, “oKKK”

White students placing us into a box

White teachers marginalizing our abilities 

Four percent feels like:

“Too black skin”

Fear of black hoodies

Fear of skittles and Arizonas

Four percent feels like:

White even in the name of blackness

4% is Pain.

You couldn’t walk a mile in the 4% shoes…

Another One

Half an apple pie sits on the counter-

I’m holding out for you.
It’s times like this
When I’m
Too prideful to say “Hey”.
Too angry to say “I miss you”.
Too scared to say “Happy Birthday”.
Just because of the sheer fact that
On the surface, the cracks in my cheeks,
Hide underneath mocha foundation
So that not even light can shine through… 

But somehow you always do;

Break these walls down,
Brighten two days and a mood.
But, I won’t admit it to you
But, something real pulls me to you…
Because holding you in my arms felt/

The apple pie lingers on,
With a core pulsing out of its crust-
 

I’m waiting to trust you.
It’s times like this
When I’m
Willing to make you my King.
Willing to make you smile.
Willing to make you my everything;
All over again…

I begin to cut my slice…
And I fall, back to the bridge where we used to be. Right next to Honeymoon Avenue.

Bon Anniversaire Mon Chou Chou

Happy Nappy

i remember
being small
and fantasizing straight silky hair
just like Mommy, like the girls on boxes of
“Just For Me”

i remember
my relaxers
and all the hot combs
like brandings on horses that were
“Fixed”

i remember
tear stains
and wet eyes swelling
like a bubble with too much air, too much
“Naps”

It was too thick
Like deep forests in Africa
It was too nappy
Like Slave Masters whipping in fields for cotton
It was too natural
Like society didn’t want me.

Eleven years later; I’m hiding the
BEAUTY
That God gave me; under weaves and headwraps

 

If only someone had told me back then
that black was beautiful
Maybe I wouldn’t be in the shadows now.

I Can Only Hear You From My Left Ear

6
Left:
I’msorry!ILoveyou!Iwantyou. . .
IWasAnAsshole
Come    back    here
ShewasnothingtomeIswear. . .
You are my everything
Don’tleaveme!
You’re       not        leaving             me
I’msorry!ILoveyou!Iwantyou!
I didn’t mean it. I didn’tmean it. I didn’t mean it. I didn’t mean it. I didn’t mean it

 

Right:
*Silence*

 

The silence pains me more than the lies, you spat at me,
you swore were truth.
Almost as if my heart pushes one side of me
to listen, to care, to forgive.
Your mouth moves like rapid fire
as it licks up the side of my heart
burning my lungs.
Exasperated.
How am I to respond appropriately. . .

“Fuck You.”

1 am

I can see the bottom of the Hennessy bottle-
Reflecting all the middle school moments of my tomboy years and insecure tears

I can see the bottom of the Hennessy bottle-

Screaming the “You’re not black enough”s and the “You’re too white”s

I can see the bottom of the Hennessy bottle-

Clear as a crystal ball clouding my judgment with pictures of mommies of daddies little black girls are told they can’t have

I can see the bottom of the Hennessy bottle-

But I can’t feel my face, I can’t feel my natural 4c type, black hair growing. I can’t feel my country achy breaky heart pounding. I can’t feel my brown face perpetually “bitch faced” because I’m constantly watching over my shoulder because my neighborhood is being gentrified and pushing drug dealers and fighters onto my street

I can see the bottom of the Hennessy bottle with eyes closed and my tweety birds singing around my head

The distant party sounds of Reggae and Rihanna pulse through my alcoholic soaked veins, I can see the bottom of the Hennessy bottle.