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 unwanted war on the people of color 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

Fear of white hoods

Fear of white students exiling us

Fear of white teachers marginalizing our abilities 

Four percent feels like

Fear of “too black skin”

Fear of black hoodies

Fear of skittles and Arizonas

Four percent feels like

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 on 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 that to you
Because I know you’ll be reading this soon.
But, something real pulls me to you…
Because holding you in my arms felt good too.

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

But I’m wanting 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.

Bon Anniversaire Mon Chou Chou

Happy Nappy

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

i remember
my relaxers
and all the hot combs
like branding 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 to be

Eleven years later and 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 afraid 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.

Go Fish

im really not good at card games.

in my hand, I hold a pair of hearts

close to my chest, I try to hold on

but the game’s too fast and I always finish last

but magicians have a way with their hands

they mix and mush, disappear and return

but never reveal their secrets

cards lay crumpled in my fists

draining their color

“Do you have a two of hearts”

“….no. Go fish”

“Shuffle the deck, there’s more fish in the sea.”

im really not good at card games

Suitcases 

I tripped on suitcases    

        On my way in

On hands and feet

    Crawling backwards to the open door

Staring at the void in the wall

      Echoing, echoing, echoing.

The suitcases rise

      While shackles break free

Wind whooshing past and over

      My infantile figure.

Hands meant for holding

      Eyes meant for dreams

Fall onto the dust bunnies domain

      Grasping for imaginary happiness

Weeping, weeping, weeping

      Directly aside me.

Mommy,

      You’ll always have me.