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On teaching pale women how to color their walls…

***Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Oh.  How many times I’ve heard, “I wish we could take you home with us” while swaddling a newborn, positioning a lactating breast, counting pushes, and smelling the scent of new life.  By the way…it is an earthy smell; a muted sweet scent of all outdoors (quite interesting when you think about it).  Oh.  How many times I’ve thought, “I am my own home.  I’ve always had to make a home in me.  You should learn to do the same.  And have the courage to inhabit it. Without.  Help.”

Besides, the man of my choosing is coming to paint my kitchen a vibrant shade of green in the morning and I wouldn’t dare miss him (and I’ve been considering a mauve for the bedroom – whatcha think?).  Furthermore, I only lie my head down under roofs that motion to all the places where the guns are hidden.

We’ll talk later.  The lesson must continue at some other time.  I can smell that the Cornish-hen is ready.  I can feel the clock approaching quitting time.  And I can hear my own baby start to stir in her crib.  I left her walls nude. Perhaps her first word will be blue.  Again, I will call the man of my choosing and he will oblige to pigment yet another one of my walls with the color of oceans.

I have so much to do.  In my own home.  Perhaps I should thank you for reminding me?

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Deep Pockets

Image via @photosbyelldot_ (unsplash.com)

 

There comes a time in every girl-turned-woman’s life where promiscuity is a thing that simply must be had.  Looking for the outside to match the inside. Trying to ingest this idea of attaching monetary value to things passionate.  Things gifted.  Things anointed.  Deep pockets are, after all, the world’s oldest profession.  Yes, there comes a time in every girl-turned-woman’s life where all she knows is to turn away…or…invite you in.

And ask, “do I still feel the same?”

And think, “I bet he thinks this song (and dance) is about him.”

Careful, how you pro seed.

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Navel

It’s a weird feeling.  Yes, ‘weird’, for lack of a better word.  This disconnect that sometimes happens between mother and daughter. To know that she was indeed your first home.  But now.  You must be home.

A plot of land.

Four walls.

A roof.

A shore for the weary.

And a lighthouse for the lost.

You can’t help it.  The urge is inherent.  You will spend forever.  Trying to build a bridge.  And the construction is louder than the destruction.  And if it wasn’t for the flames, you could both get to buildin’.

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Do..or

The kitchen cabinets.

The bathroom upon entering

and exiting.

The dryer. And the washer.

The back door. Closed but unlocked.

Overnight.

Even once, the car door

after retrieving our sleeping baby.

Then there was that time

in the new house

when we christened it loudly.

The bedroom door –

a forgotten necessity.

And our first guest in the living room –

also forgotten.

Cheeks red; body a seated statue.

Maybe he thought we’d done it on purpose?

That’s what I would have thought.

Forgotten doors

left open

on purpose.

You always forgot to close the fucking door!

Always!

And I…I sat with my legs open

then. Still.

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Middle Aisles

How am I supposed to rid myself

Of this gnawing in my belly?

The lies that sit there

Will surely eat me from the inside out

The gut is a funny place

It does not like to be empty

Refusing to wait on the truths

That grow slowly in our gardens

Overly full of the easily accessible

Packaged lies

All up ‘n down

The middle aisles
I believe I’ll walk on. See what the end will be.

 

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Daddy’s Toolbox

The one you’ve chosen to spend your life with is an engineer kind of dude.  He likes to build things. But baby, when he met you, you were already a stallion.  An edifice.  And so, he deconstructed you bit by bit…to see what in fact you were made of.  It’s the only way he knew how to love.  The problem is, he tired out.  Too lazy or too preoccupied to put you back together again.  So, here I am doing the work I did years ago.  Building you up…again…as only I know how.  As only I can.

A woman cannot fight a man.  She will never win.  He will hide parts of her in far off lands.  He will place pieces of her soul into glass bottles and drift you off to sea.  And in a fit of rage you can find him breaking the tools required for reconstruction.

This time you need to pay close attention.  I will not be here forever.  Putting a Queen back together is a lost art.  Grab my toolbox – top shelf, right corner.

 

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The Blood

She is born with a naturally occurring third eye, nestled within the softest place on earth.  If you do it right, it might just wink at you.  Waiting is a cycle.  Stillness is a cycle.  Regeneration and resurrection?  Both are cycles.  She wants no parts of your war – no parts of the blood you spill.  (She often twitches at the day men were allowed into labor rooms.)  The blood she spills is of living water; not of slain innocence and not of combat, campaign, or crusade.  Yes, pay close attention to whom God granted His living water.  It’s been said that it’s just too much.  Too crass, too saturated, too heavy.  Too brand new.  The blood.  Of cyclical possibilities with a scent of untouched earth waiting to be sown (or not).  Rain on the horizon.  Seeds taking root.  Her insides – the great outdoors.  It is her space and mine.  Immense pain and immense pleasure.  What of true life doesn’t birth both?  Charged with the permutation of unadulterated first breaths!  And we let them shame…tax…shun us for it.  A gift.  An offering.  A safe space that everyone has at least once been familiar with.  And we let them shame us for it?  A built in clock synced with the moon, ocean tides…with her who stands with me and for me.  And we let them shame us for it?  Born with everything we need.  To carry life.  And we let them shame us for it?  Phenomenal soil – watering itself from the inside out.  And we let them shame us for it?  Worth bleeding for.  And we let them shame us for…the blood.

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Of All Creation…

Today I want to create

Today I want white dresses

Painted in blood, in red dirt, in grass stains

In rays of sunshine

…Unwrinkled by the wind and wet heat

Today I want to create

Today I want seeds planted on the inside

(To be a walking ground; a foundation not phased by shifts)

Hands to my chest

So you may feel that the seeds beat too

(Just give ‘em some time)

Today I want to create

Today I want love dripping down my thighs

Until sticky

Until translucent turns flakey

Today I want my screams turned into song

My grip.  Turned into push.

My tears turned into oceans blue

No, into freshwater true

Can you swim?

Are you thirsty?

Would you like me to bathe you?

Today I want to create

Today I want to be loved

Into creation

…To loudly whisper love back into

You

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Rest and Shine

 

She lie on the bed; belly down and naked from head to toe.  An ear to the mattress.  And an ear to the wind from an open window.  Her backside adorned with earned stripes – lightening strikes, winding Redwood roots, umbilical cords etched to her hips.  And to his eyes.  He dared not guess if the sun was setting or rising.  But he knew…that it’s rays were finally learning how to illuminate themselves. Continue reading Rest and Shine

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Undone.

Do not be afraid to come undone.  All of your ancestors await you at your dawn.  Even the ones who didn’t wish to be there.  Each cell.  Waiting for you to open.  To fall.  To become raw…  So that you may feel.  Supported.  My love…  You are so supported.  Your undoing is your salvation.  There’s a roof made of rain and sunshine.  Floors of solid gold.  The walls never strangle.  Doors are never closed.  Some remove their shoes at the threshold.  But never mind them…  You!  You must come completely.  Undone.  Of you…  They require more – a more clothed in nothing.  Nothing.  At all.  Hang your fear on shoulders that tote wings.  Lay your burdens in laps likened to crimson tides.  Rest your bloodied soles on lashed and leathered backs that have mended themselves.  Spread your aching body across the Atlantic.  They have been waiting to make a bridge.  Out of you.  Come.  And be made.  Whole.

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of spins and speech

Mama says, “When you are really tired, you won’t have to tell anyone.
You will stop proclaiming it from mountaintops,
or rallying around your tiredness in the village square.
Naw, baby!  When you are really tired…in all your blackness
and sexiness and woman-ness, the world will feel it – a guttural
cry from it’s core will rise up!  All words coming together until there are none.
(Have you ever heard a woman’s holler
when the news hits her lactating breasts that there will be no child to feed?
Lost to the auction block or while clawing its way through the vaginal canal?)
It is a sound that you can hear even in your sleep –
a sound that tattoos itself onto windpipes.
The essence of you as a Black. Woman. with the gall to be tired will halt
the earth on its axis.  And everyone…everyone will hold their breath if only
for a moment.  And they will know.  So, naw baby…you ain’t tired just yet.
The earth is still spinning.
And you are still talking.”

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Mano-a-Monologue

He thought I’d fail at the monologue.  Thought I’d clam up, forget words.  Thought perhaps I’d run off the stage, humiliated before even stating the first line.  He forgot.  That back in the day, when the two of us sang duets complete with two-part harmonies and eight extremities that kept the same rhythmic time…  I was composer of both parts.  Of all parts.  Mine and his.  And when he failed to show or was too late to even attempt to appease the crowd, first I was a little panicky.  Then resentful.  And finally inspired.  My gift and my curse – to do the work of two with (somewhat apparent) ease.  So, it was I who stopped the show.  First, to make room for grace…  Maybe he was just late?   Then to make room for a standing ovation…  In his absence.  What made him think…hope I would fail at the monologue?  They’re just duets between you and and an absent someone.  And…well…shit…after all, practice makes perfect.  Practice.  Had plenty of that!  One day.  I pray.  To be free enough to live my own definition of free.  Free enough.  To depend on a true duet.  But for now, the grace period has come and gone.  The show must go on.  Mano-a-Monologue.