claire can't see me.

a mom who is cooler in words than in life.

a forced goodbye.

there are some things that will never change. life & death for sure top the list. people come, & thus they must as well return from whence they came.

but today, i don’t want to know those facts. my inner child has just been handed back to me. the vessel of magic, of wonderment, the ultimate definition of imagination is dead & gone. before a collective apology could be issued, before amends could be made, with a joke on our breath & a rumor in our ear…he left this world greatly misunderstood. i grieve for our loss. a human being that gave years of his life to be the center attraction of the circus we requested. we asked for more each time. more answers. more reasons. he asked us to suspend belief & we said define yourself. explain yourself, michael. why do you…who are you…

& so goes the machine. but here’s what i remember.

jackson 5 was the music throughout the house. a time beyond me. watching my mom swoon. watching my stepdad groove behind her. the music that was the glue that held my makeshift family together. it was barbecue music, when ol’ school crew got their chance to shine. “you don’t know bout this here”…& we didn’t. but we laughed just the same. & when we fell in love, we searched through our mother’s tapes to find the right words to fit the feeling. we were michael fans by proxy, by new edition & bobby brown. by tevin campell & hi-five. by the boys. we too young to know the meaning of “off the wall”, but we were influenced by his influence on the world around us.

i know i’m a generation too late but still..michael has powered every roadtrip. has sponsored the best moments of spontaneous sing-a-longs. is the safest music to play around the babies. will always represent the good moments of family. & maybe that’s why so many of us brown children are sad today. because michael’s music represented our family reunions, our cook outs, our grandmother’s getting up to boogie. his music was the soul train line that every generation could act a fool to. he sparked history lessons by uncles, with the cigarette safely lodged between lips. we could see the teenager in our aunties,  the shadow of their former shape outlined in their thick bones when they danced. michael was very much family. always in attendance & always on time.

& his death reminds me that i’ll never get a chance to cry at his concert.

goodbye, michael.

i thank u & i apologize, in the same breath.

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1 Comment»

  trEmaine wrote @

This is so true, “his music was the soul train line that every generation could act a fool to,” and I can still hear my peoples yelling over “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough,” while bus stopping at the same time. I thought about this a couple of nights ago, what will this world now be like w/o him? It is so amazing how one man could bring together an entire people simply by music & entertainment. Would I be wrong to call him some kind of melodic God, b/c I truly believe he was.


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