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. 

~Desforpres

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!

Nitty-Gritty

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.

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.

 

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

and

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.

 

 

 

 

 

The Noodle that Needed Softening

You are the boiling brass pot of water

She is the noodle that needed to soften

You went easy on me, but after I let down no walls

You had to try harder and that’s why intimacy scares her because it always pushes her farther

Than her feet are willing to carry such weight

and the anxiety traps one in more often

And while I wield the power to unlock the gate

I feel locked inside my emotions

I fear that if I pour all this passion into your cupped hand the majority of me will splash right onto the marble floors

Not to mention the spill feeling like a casual accident but will you at least try to hold onto me?

Will you try to hold onto me by my sides not my lid

after you’ve done such slick and slippery work of grasping my layers and biting back at my bruised places

can you see past the image of this secure strong woman

who is only so resolutely withstanding breakage because she disallows the smallest tinge of fragile care

can you see through the transparence of strength  in exchange for her vulnerabilities in need of repair

that which breaks resets to passion anew through her honest and forgiving prayer

She is not so strong as to not flood cities when outpoured

For the same strength that drives men away

Was a love they at first adored

The same strength that drives out fear

was an intimidation rest assured

While she is the noodle that needed to soften

She would like to say that she possesses the kind of softness that you do not feel with your hands

her wispy softness comes in whispered conversation

in footsteps treading lightly to sneak out of broken homes

in woodpecker taps on  doors left ajar just to warn the inhabitant of your entrance

in the thunder barely audible

sourced at a storm whose rain you never want to feel drip down your face the way tears do

her softness is the tear that has ever violently ripped down your cheek, but never made a sound,

you never made a sound, in the same kind of hard, quite fortitude we all love to feign

Except she doesn’t pretend, at least not anymore,

because all the tears were dress rehearsals till she finally learned her lines

In the act, she concluded her pain was divine

And she doesn’t have to play unaffected when pain is applied

She made pain her stronghold

And overcoming, her hobby in her free time

 

 

 

 

Arms Akimbo

The girls I see that seem to have it all together

Are the same girls that have one frail, naïve hand on their hip

In an akimbo position that I know so well

With the other hand swinging back and forth as they speak

Private conversation pulling me in like a pendulum

So carefree momentarily that I am captivated when I try to keep up with many long limbs with my squinty eyes

And how fast they speak

“She was like and he was like” they repeat during one of those paramount stories

That seem only trivial to those who pass by

It is music to my ears, melodiously intrinsic

What is often not understood is often not well liked

But these same girls are little versions of me

Walking silhouettes of what they dream to be

And when they look in the mirror, they see

A hollow shell waiting to be filled with something

Anything at all

So they seem to have it all together but I tapped each one of them and I heard an echo

Much like the echo I hear when I tap a sweet ripe watermelon at the fresh market

And what a struggle life will be for them

If they continue to walk around hallow

What a perilous task it is to be themselves

So as I see these girls’ arms akimbo

Some hands on the right hip

Some hands on the left I smile

I hope that they will discover what gives them a sure satisfaction

That sweet contentment of the moment, this very moment

Far Far before I did

I hope that they will discover what it means to be beautiful

How to formulate a confident styling grace

How to make a beautiful face that does not harshly scrutinize

With eyes that do not glint in confusion at him

With lips that do not curl up at her

Far Far before I did