claire can't see me.

a mom who is cooler in words than in life.

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free write: yellow brick road girl.

ease on down, mister, & let me lie an explanation
in the psalm of your hands
because religiously i am lost
but here in our chapel i am holy Married
to the sweet hymn of our collective misguidance
you the tin man
crumpled under the weight of your shoulders
& me, the wizard disguised as Dorthy
hidden, yet unassuming
i am the yellow brick road
golden with good intentions
& merriment
& no clear direction as to how i got this far
from a proper introduction
one where i don’t whisper crucial facts
or send smoke signals that resemble heart shaped clouds
you don’t know me aloud
with you i neither roar nor wail
i ease
i ease
i ease
on down the road, paved & golden
with no clear direction
as to where i’m leading you next.

half half poetry month remnants.

her name

ive never said this louder
than a whisper pushed into closed palms
on a train headed north
with an empty winter jacket
watching barren trees wave goodbye
to my reflection on the window
& my legs resting on the unoccupied space beside me
i distinctively remember my phone
no ring
no call for my return
or pleas for explanation of missing weekends
no concerned voice to swallow me whole
& demand my safe arrival
i tried to wait
but my ticket was paid for with
the weight of your response
nothing was left
between us
or in me
by the time I reached back home
i had left the whole story
in a city too crowded to be noticed
my comings & goings were never detected
until you asked me
why i left
completely turned away from you
embracing the blank night
that hung between the remnants
of unclaimed lovers
you deserved an answer
but i never told you
that i liked the name
i only whispered the letters into
cursive prayers
etching them into my
empty hands.

for a.k.

you can’t write a love song
for someone else’s husband
no matter how bitter the name of his wife taste on your combined tongues
piano chords can’t disguise betrayal
but it can turn it to a radio friendly excuse
for star crossed lovers to dance silently under
& i might even hum along
cause the artist in me understands the complication
of mistaking a muse for a lover
in the wrong light
decisions can be made easier
but since a spotlight follows you on & off stage
while you try to sing empowerment into the backbones
of women possibly left broken by missing husbands
i’d think you’d understand
my hesitation to clap.


“im a recovering undercover over lover/recovering from a love i cant get over”-badu

the wind stopped by today
told me you were in love
& left as quickly as it came
with no further details of how
or when
you changed the meaning of space
& needing it
she must be an astronaut
or something else that im obviously not
but if you woulda left breadcrumbs
i woulda figured out a way to become it
i’m something of a poet
so i coulda similed myself to your liking
it woulda been worth the midnight oil
but instead im left unchanged & unsure
if i fit my own image of love
any more
cause i saw you as my reflection
& now i don’t see you in me at all
love is blind like that
& i didnt foresee this outcome
thought it would be too cliche
too redundant
to happen to me again
this time i loved harder
broke bled bent & believed
beyond any doubt that i could
out love you enough
to take on your burden
of loving me
that I could love us enough for us
& survive off the droplets of whatever runneth over from my outpouring heart
i thought I would drown
any pause you had
any silence
any sigh or shrug
any straight to voicemail call
i thought i could outlast
your doubts
your second glances in opposite directions
your fidgety fingers in my hands
i tried to bribe venus
& offer my allegiance under any other
planet that was found more compatible
for you
because I knew
pluto was no longer considered significant enough to draw you in
& i tried every trick in the book
to keep you
but you werent into keeping
another character flaw of mine
you said
& before i could try to change that
you put on your space suit
& apologized to the wind
for taking too long.

rough draft

“i know things fall apart/intentions shatter” -The Roots

i never rewrite poems

because i don’t regret the first draft
i’ve gotten plenty of practice being the mistake
in the love lines of some boy’s palms
my intentions are always misinterpreted
by lonely fortune tellers
& earth signs fascinated by the dangers of waves

by you

& i can’t edit me out of your life’s story
just to save face
from the future advice that you’ll give your sons
regarding love
but i’ll accept the blame

for you

i tried to offer different versions
of the truth
sweet on the tongue tales
sultry sung lullaby’s between sheets & lips & letters home
& you probably didn’t notice that love
in a milder form
was always the foundation of that
that i had fashioned a hammock out of lies
for you to comfortably sleep in
without being awaken by the door closing behind me
i always knew i would leave
i just thought you would have been ready by then
i had spent many nights trying to strengthen your spine
stretched out in my therapy
i massaged your ego into form
& hoped that you’d see yourself as art
but instead you made me your museum
& gave credit only to the artist & not the muse
so i had no choice

i left you

like an incomplete poem
no hope to be had in the conclusion
no moral of the story
& no further points to be made
i just have to accept the blame
& the fact that
i never rewrite my poems.

a repost of “my measurements”

for you* because i think i willed you to turn up. i read this last week & smiled. this week you turned up on facebook. so…this is for you.

“and it will be the kiss by which you measure all others for the rest of your life.”
– anthony hopkins in hearts in atlantis.

him,  wide smile & vainglorious laugh that would travel down blocks and set up camp in my ears. him, barely taller than me but under the summer street lights i saw him as a giant. much larger than my life. south miami’s very own deity. & we would all wait on the sides of our pride to hear his voice travel from around the corner. young girls using blow pops for lip gloss. older girls who had mastered the art of sending secret messages to their would-be lovers in their giggles. & even their mothers, heavy hipped with moon shaped eyes longing for someone to stargaze in their faces. Read the rest of this entry »

fortune cookie message by lei:

tonight, tell someone the truth. start with yourself.

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.

my apology.

as soon as i leaned over your shoulder, as soon as my whisper reached your skin, i knew that i was all wrong for you. every fiber of my being completely in objection to what you needed out of a mate. & instead of letting those be my last words, i carried a two year long conversation with you that ended as it started. in sweet & gentle lies.

for this apologize.

something in me believes you still need to hear that in order to move forward with loving who you’ve become & who you’re with.  & my advice: every person you kiss is not meant to be an altar. i was far from worship worthy, but i enjoyed the rituals enough to lead you to believe that i was. lonely-only children make horrible first lovers. we’re selfish & self-absorbed. maybe not we…maybe that’s just me. after all, here i am thinking that you are stuck in life over…me.

how could it get more self-absorbed than that?

just in case though, know that i was some girl. nothing more, probably less. some awkward thing with pitiful brown eyes & poetic tendencies that made beds out of every open palm placed in front of me. think me a molehill. hindsight makes me out to be a monster. but  i ask that you keep my name in the moment & enjoy that which we floated on. because in the moment, i was in love. in the moment, i made every attempt at disguising myself in what you needed out of our slice in time, in spite of what i needed. in the moment, i stretched out the definition of love & wrapped you tightly in it, then cradled you against my chest hoping that you’d hear my heart & leave me first. in those moments, the ones that make me a bad memory for you now, i was convinced that i could safeguard the rest of your love life with denial. & eventually a book of lies that i labeled as poems. not out of total deceit, but out of the purest intention to save face for both of us.

but still, for these things i apologize. & i do so knowing for well that an apology is moreso for me than you.

i ask that you take it for what it’s worth & love the next one with a lighter heart.