For My Father

My father asked me to write something lighter.

I could not help but think of sunsets and rose petals,

But even petals

deserve metals for how well        they wilt

Dried and crunched by my lazy step,

I wish to tread lighter,


tall grass and cat tails

the wind whistling through the cellulose of living things

And rain tapping the nature           that never lived           to begin with,

Smooth Jazz rocks, and fruity pebbles        inanimate

The gravel wedges          between the rubber crannies

on the gum bottoms of my shoes

On each stepping stone,

I wish to tread lighter


the shady side of trees,

moss only capable of growth

because of the lack of light

hiding from sunsets that melt mud,

The Slip and slide of swamps and the bites of alligator teeth.

The teeth crack under my pressure,

Dropped, then buried in the heaviness of my foot print

Barefoot, dirty and bruised,

I tread as light as I can.


Brown Stone: A Poem

Brown Stone

 ancient soil slowly swallows the brown stone

That was planted to grow before sinking

 broken bricks sulked at the end of a legacy

yet the suffocating roots

wrestled freely for the place of stone

Demolishment choking the foundation as

Solid sticks poked and prodded and churned the obstinate matter

The earth cried out – TRESPASS

The competition cried out—PASS YOU NOT

The brown stone sinks deep

The roots creep

Water seeps

Into the undecided entry ways

Pure suffering

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Brownstone building in Harlem

Wonder Woman

blue uniforms are villainous capes to super heros

I hope invincibility

when black bones rot into mushrooms

When the Silver bullets

Come looking for silver backs

Gorillas that left the forest for fields

that caught on fire by a

Smoking gun,  lit with a smiling finger tip

silver bullet, punched a hole in me like fragile paper

flipped my wig like the deciding coin

I hoped invisibility

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Nubia: Wonder Woman’s sister


The Kept Around


she kept me around to roll blunts

as she sucked down difficult liquor,

cheap wine stained the back seat

she lifted her eyes dully from her cup

      could not drink away her sorrow


she kept me to cook

creole dishes, brown butter,

and fried chicken in month-old grease

lasagna, the layers as thin as her patience for me.


she kept me to cry

tears on her behalf,

cheeks hemmed up from life’s alterations 

the tears  stictched to her face

tears stream live, wirelessly

finding a weakened signal suppressed by the storm puddles

I swam through to reach her


she kept me around for dirty work

like digging ditches, or manning gardens in ever-burning forests
She kept me around to recycle later

She sewed my dreams

into sewers far away from her insecurities

I could not biodegrade in the midst of her dust. 


A Universal Charm


Was never a night where

the stars hung         like hangers             from a warped, darkened attic

the vaulted vastness

and pastness

of sightly lights frighten by flashes            splayed so slight

teachers taught me about the sky

that the shine of stars is a relic from years gone by

an old flame

many a multitude of  beams

like white seeds                                         against fertile soil

held not the moon in place          with whispered conversation

ought not replace smiles in exchange for  sun

fixed my fingers into fists,           folded my arms

preventing the digits from pointing to far places

in fear of causing the moon to rise             before it’s time.

Rather I sat sharp,

face taunt with humble aspirations,

heavens highly aware of my impressive influence.

What a charm                 to be jewelry on the universe’s arm!


When fear is bones

between the teeth

I learn who to face unfrowned.

The sisters I talk to are

Mirrors to my meaning

When I find myself

In the miry clay,

When I dig

into my dark places,

Between the Light bulbs

And sparkling epiphanies,

Every evening fear

Goes extinct as they up root me.         they out me

And expose me to sunshine

Because the mirrors to my meaning silently speak to these

Dried bones

At a glance,

Lifting sinew from grit and sand.

Mass Incarceration of Words Left Unwritten

The Bleeding of my pen   is    routine

The black of my book and the white of its page     contrast     clean

and when my pen begins to  lean

to the side       I get to scribblin’ on the fly


pardon me, pen, but is your ink gasoline?

i must know, cause if I write any faster

not only will the veins in my hand  surely die

but I’ll lose control of my pen of who I am the master


my college rule might spontaneously combust

from the rubbing of lines plastered

both ageless and page-less, the sheets went from alabaster

to my burned book, turned to neon grey dust

me an arson and my heart hardened

the ash glowing from the  friction and fictional friendship between pen and pape,

This fear is why my words though great,

Always struggle to find escape


phrase and diction,

stranger than fiction

as if my words are weaned,

meant to be left at the crime scene, or a doorstep like

breastfed babies

My words die daily

they are the evidence–forgotten, lost

and slipped through buttered fingers

My word have been tossed to the back of the bus,

My words have been rejected and told “you can’t sit with us”.

My words have been marginalized into pure annotations, given no space to

grace pages

only boarders

having been put in places that I can’t call spacious

too small of surfaces

But too often I get these urges        to write

Sources to cite,

and forces to fight including my own strong will and rage

Because my words

recieved no wages for the work of description and definition

when I write them on my pages they are burdens

I pick up the sheets,

and the words rip right through, tearing the pressed-thin trees with their weight,

fluttering to the floor,

which is why I try to remember to write in cursive,

thinking maybe the softness of each curve could spring peace

or the delicacy of disguise could bring release

from the comments held captive in my mind as a jar

Cause what i have to say has been behind bars

Convicted and conflicted and told not to take charge.

But too bad my words can be as free as I am based on how I feel,

And words can fill the void when nothing else can heal

I don’t mind writing in the margins every now and then,

but if i’m ever gonna be free I’m gonna have to use my pen,

because having the gift, and sitting on my hands ain’t nothing but a sin

mass incarceration, locked up in the pen

Penitentiary, my words (confined) could find cells endlessly,

but I’m trying to remember that the pen ain’t my enemy,

My words aren’t just accessory and my expression isn’t a choice.

My words may just be written but they still echo like a voice

Ringing through the trees, potential paper

Vibrations gracing their bark,

and I’m reminded of my duty,


Pens leave permanent marks

and words can leave permanent scars.

One phrase can unleash a beast,

Which is why I’m so careful with the words I free.