Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Father

He walked by me everyday
But once a week he would stand in my door way
And ask me “what are your plans?”
Or maybe “what are you doing?”
Sometimes it was “where’s your report card?”
“Nothing.”
“Nothing”
“I don’t have it”
He would then get mad at my lack luster response, shake his head, and walk into the depths of his room
This man who stood five foot seven
With soft hands that have held on too hard
Who always had a mustache
And has only cried twice since I’ve met him
Well, he is my father
However he stopped being my father when I turned fifteen
He stopped being my father when I told him to stop yelling at me
He stopped being my father when I told him to let go of my arm, “you are hurting me,”
He didn’t let go
So I told him no
No I don’t want to talk to you
No I don’t want to interact with you
Because you didn’t hear my no until I told it to someone else who didn’t hear it
And once I told them no you heard all the no’s I’ve told you since I was born
No daddy I don’t want that food
No daddy I don’t want to go to the store
No daddy I don’t want to play that game
No daddy I didn’t win first place
No daddy I didn’t make varsity
No daddy I told him no
No daddy you never heard my no’s until it was too late
Now I flinch each time you raise your hand to grab a bowl from the cabinet
Now I duck when you swing around to grab something behind you
Now I don’t talk because if I told you what was in my mind you would be terrified
He walked by me everyday
But he never said anything until it was Friday night and he asked me
“What are your plans?”
“What are you doing?”
“Where’s your report card?’
“Nothing”
“Nothing”
“I don’t have it”
I’m sorry daddy
I just get so scared when you talk
Or move
Or breathe
That I find myself holding my breath like a statue at a museum until you have walked past my bedroom door
I’m sorry daddy

But you’ve failed me

Monday, March 7, 2016

Everyday Jungle

we walked the same path everyday
a linoleum trail speckled with old gum and paper
that had been kicked around and trampled on the like freshly fallen leaves
the uneven floor making it hard to keep your balance

we walked the same path everyday
covered and concealed by bricks walls painted white
so that we remembered this was a place of pain not healing
the structure towering high to capture us in its thorny branches

we walked the same path everyday
animals released from the cages at the turn of the hour
looking at the fresh meat to pounce on and naw at
hideous creatures with tangled hair and yellow teeth

we walked the same path everyday
at the end of the day the deranged monkey left for a while
the reechoed beasts were struck in concrete cells with no light
nothing on the wall they started at the face of a beast

we walked the same path everyday
outside the cold wind twisted around the building
the three trees that were living outside were poked and climbed on by the beasts inside
the grass was beaten and brown and broke, much like those living on the inside

we walked the same path everyday
a linoleum trail speckled with gum and covered with rocks
beasts covered by a towering building painted a putrid white
animals released from their cages ready to pounce 
as the outside matched the inside this was the dry, barren land of education

Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Night

I watched the evening turn to night as I sat on my childhood porch
Slowly, as if in a snow globe, the clouds moved
The sky fading from its once subtle blue to a deep indigo
Night set in, the sky was black now faded from indigo
The lamp across the street shined into the windows of the house
It was quiet
Christmas lights that bordered the porch bordered me
And it was dark
Dysfunctional harmony danced, the two things I loved the most
In the front room of the house the night laid the people to rest
Silent bodies lived in this space
For a while the house was quiet
The bodies inside covered with lies dozed for hours
On the porch I still sat
The sky twisted into figures I’ve only ever seen in my dreams
The ballerina in the clouds that danced with a corpse
The blade of the sword that cut into flesh
The eyes of a man longing for love
The light of the moon that strove to heal my wounds
It never could though
I never slept much anymore
Because to sleep was to feel a temporary release of pain
This novelty was unattainable
The pain a taken up residence in my house
The pain lived with the sleeping people inside the house
The pain illuminated from the lamp across the street
The pain was the pillow that I never slept on
But when the dark sky allowed sleep to be a friend
I woke up as I fell asleep

Weary and perplexed

Friday, March 4, 2016

Pretty Colors

The pretty girls
At the rich white school
Crossed to the other side of the aisle
When my dad walked by them

I never noticed before
How people tainted my skin
With their disapproving looks
That perfect illusion died

People tainted my skin when
I walked into a supermarket
That perfect illusion died
The security guard followed me

I walked into a supermarket
I was only fourteen
The security guard followed me
“Make sure you pay for that”

I was only fourteen
And apparently a wanted criminal
“Make sure you pay for that”
who was he to suspect me?

Apparently a wanted criminal
My world lost all its color
Who were they to suspect me?
I watched the people pass by in black & white

My world lost all its color
People weren’t people anymore
I watched them in black & white
They were walking color schemes

People weren’t people anymore
They were walking rainbows
They were color schemes
Only known by the pigment of their skin

They were walking rainbows
Born with a label on their head
Only known by the pigment of their skin
Their forehead plastered with
I am white
I am black
I am grey
Blue
Pink
Purple
Green

Born with a label on their head
They lost all their humanity
Their forehead plastered with
The names of the colors that defined them

They lost all humanity
The people tainted my skin
With the names of the colors that defined them
I never noticed before

The pretty girls
At the rich white school
Crossed to the other side of the aisle

When I walked by them

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Woman

I am here today to speak the truth about being a woman
Let me just start off by saying that yes I am a woman
As a woman, I know I have the face of a baby even when I wear make up
And yes I like to wear make up it makes me feel pretty
I feel pretty when I wear a tight little black dress and some heels
You don’t like how my heels make me above you?
Well I don’t like how your male supremacy makes me below you
Below your ridiculous standards of beauty
Beauty I had before you said “hey pretty girl how you doing?”
I’m doing fine you don’t need to ask because its none of your business
My business is not your business
You are not in the business of telling me how to live my life
How I live is for me, by me, and because of me
Because of me and my body I make the boys walking by with they could grab at my thighs
My thighs are not fat thanks for your questions and concerns
Question this my thighs are pure womanly muscle because yes I work out
Work this out for me why did my boyfriend think it was ok to use my body as his form of therapy
Like I go to therapy too and I work through my problems without trying to get into someone else’s pants
And yes my pants don’t always fit because guess what, I have an ass
My ass I toned, tough, and can kick your ass any day of the week
Don’t mess with my ass because yes I know its beautiful and no you don’t get to touch
I was touch already by hands that I didn’t want
Hands that I didn’t need
I needed the pastor at church the to not say that god wanted me to get raped
Like thank god all I wanted to know was that god had planned on my body becoming a mans play toy
How about you find a different toy because my body is not, never will be, and never has been your toy for the taking
Taking a second to think about it, I am a woman
A woman with a plan
Like I plan on telling you when your hands wander too far up my skirt
Like my skirt is not an open door for you to poke your head into
Like if you wanted to get some head maybe you should find a different woman
Like my woman is more woman than you know what to do with
Like you know what I look damn hot in my sweatpants and hoodies
Like yes I wear hoodies because no you don’t need to see my boobs all the time
Like my boobs are just that my boobs not yours to use as a pillow
Like my pillow holds dreams of days when you don’t comment on my body
Like my body is beautiful
A beautiful woman who doesn’t need a man to tell her she’s beautiful
I’m beautiful, I know it, I have known it, I will continue to know it because without this affirmation my body would fall victim to the man who though my body was his body to have and to hold until he thought he would get caught
Because if he got caught then they would know how he was a lousy, disgusting, rapist who took advantage of a little girl
Well, little girls not so little anymore, little girl goes to therapy, little girl takes anti depressants, little girl resist suicide attempts, little girl doesn’t know what her boyfriend will say about her rape, little girl wants to drive her car off the road sometimes, little girl listens to rape jokes, little girl has anxiety, little girl fell in love once, little girl has a panic attack when a boy says he likes her, little girl rose above all that, little girl wants to be happy

Because maybe if she was happy the world would believe that she is a woman now and no one messes with this woman