We used to be silly
thinking our love could outlast the summer,
about thrift stores
making homes of tea shops and
cozying up in our bedroom corner
hoping these threadbare blankets would keep us warm
against the cold that set in
We were silly
hurling words as if they would dissipate
in open space
and not slowly chafe
at our sensitive parts,
thinking an open palm meant only give when
an open palm also spells want
and we were wont
to fall apart
young and lost and always searching
but never seeing
Steeping bruise purple
sweet tea sunset’s colors seep
in fading day’s sky
Three things I wish I could forget
The way the dimple in your left cheek appeared
when you laughed,
the tiny mark like the imprint
of a grain of rice.
I liked to imagine I put it there,
that I too was a mark
even when hidden
under smooth-skinned expression
—-a permanent impression.
Foolishly I conjure your image,
Dusting off the altar of idols past
in remembrance paid
these offerings can bring you back
I’ve been neglecting this little blog. A lot has changed which I will talk about in a later update post. For now, this post will be an announcement of A-Poem-A-Day challenge. There are probably various challenges going on (as April is National Poetry Month) but currently I’m doing the one from Writer’s Digest. Each morning in April they will be uploading a prompt for a poem and I will write a poem and post it here. If you’d like to take part in the challenge with me, you can do so at writersdigest.com. Or you could do prompts of your own and write a poem a day as well. Happy National Poetry Month!
The past few days leading up to today I’ve seen a lot of posts on social media and the like about Thanksgiving. Among the most popular has been the Black Families Thanksgiving hash tag on Facebook and Twitter. And while these are meant to be more humorous than anything, they are rooted in being relatable to black families across the board. But it’s things like these that remind me that I don’t much relate to the people’s depictions of the holidays. I never grew up in a house packed with relatives during the holidays. I (thankfully) never had to deal with insensitive aunts or uncles questioning me about my life choices, or my parents embarrassing me the way some of my friends’ parents have.
Up until very recently, Thanksgivings at my house have always been quiet. Thanksgiving was my mother who once worked three jobs in order to provide and averaged maybe four hours of sleep, waking up at six in the morning to cook. It was the smell of her second cup of coffee drifting its way upstairs to my bedroom, its smoky scent coloring the edge of my dreams.
Thanksgiving was my mother and I eating on TV trays in the living room. It was my mother falling asleep on the couch at odd hours of the day while I read or watched recorded reruns of The Jeff Corwin Experience on VHS.
It was putting up our rather scrawny Charlie Brown-looking Christmas tree overloaded with ceramic angels, handmade ornaments I made in elementary school, wooden apples, and tinsel. (Oh god the tinsel. Our tree was practically metallic with tinsel. We would find tinsel around the house in odd places for months afterward.
My Thanksgivings may not have consisted of a full house, but they were full nonetheless. So here’s to the quiet Thanksgivings. The Thanksgivings where the table is set only for two (or maybe there’s no table at all). Here’s to the Thanksgivings of the overworked and underpaid. Here’s to the Thanksgivings in single parent households.
in the sun’s outstretched fingertips
that drip this sweat
this swelter, this heat
this pitter-patter in the streets,
Listen close enough
and it sounds like the murmur of
hummingbird’s wings but you
won’t find no hummingbirds here,
just the low rattle of these streetcars rush–
Hiss so loud you swear
you hear the beast of this city rumbling
Hear Miss Etta sing so sweet
on 47th street,
the faint tinkling of coins at her feet,
who keep walking past and
this stomp stomp stomp
is the the beast’s steady heartbeat
don’t you know this city never sleep?