I have no sexual shame. And I will not apologize for it!

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

Wrapped Life: Why I Wear Headscarves

Warm and tightly stitched, soft to the touch, the fabric hangs high over my head as the strength in my arms supports its flimsy structure. I lift the scarf stretching it lengthwise and positioning the center on my forehead leaving my baby hairs exposed. My 9 month old locs are now tucked under the colorful and beautifully textured material. Unless you’ve seen me prior to meeting me in my headscarf you don’t know what my hair looks like under its protective layer. What kinks and coils you may find under such a piece of art and artifact, the world may never know.

Under this wrap doesn’t just lay the history of Aunt Jemimas and countless creole cooks of the south and nursing nannies of the North. I don the “hard working black woman who protects her hair from dirt and grime” wrap. I don the “my hair ain’t been done or fixed up in a minute” wrap. I don the “natural hair is tons of work” head wrap. Under this wrap lies the secret of what my crown looks like. The curves of my coils and the spirit of my outer beauty is concealed behind the tapestry wrapped around the physical holder of my brain and my thoughts. When I cover my hair, I wrap away the beauty and the struggle.

Without getting too deep I find it comforting taking on this covert disguise. I find it comforting to have individuals look at my face and not develop an idea of who I am based on my locs, which have so much energy and vibrancy, my locs which do not smell, my tangled strands which I nurture like a well rooted plant. I massage a combination of organic oils into my roots for strength, thickness, and overall wellness. I take the best care of my hair in the best way I know how, for my hair is magic. Is it any wonder I every now and then must cover it, and hide it away and close it off from scrutiny and too much attention. Must my hair always be a topic of conversation? A heavily integrated discourse regarding black culture?

A head wrap is not just a fashion statement. A head wrap is a political statement which removes me from the mouth of those who have so much commentary on what the standard of beauty is and what it should be. I express my inner beauty by wearing my headscarf. I hide my outer beauty through covering my organically formed locs.

Wrapped life till I die.

 

-Des4Pres

 

The Poison of Wanting and Waiting

Last night I told him I’d be back before the stems dried up

Before the roots ride up into the concrete side walks

Before the love bites are bandaged and tied up

Before havoc could be met with flame and fiery language

Before I opened my legs for him, and ten minutes later open my broad mouth to cuss him the fuck out

I told him I’d be back

I told him I’d give him another chance but not at romance

But he wanted friendship and to see “where it goes”

I guess he was hoping to eventually develop some type of weak paper thin love

And since I wanted to be just and only friend, that just wasn’t a enough

My brand of friendship came with repentance  and admittance of mistakes made

before any conversation

Or surrender of my time of day

He came at me hard mostly intending to be close to me, pretending to yearn to set down at my feet

I told him the truth of his ugliness and his ears began to bleed

My words cut into his flesh

My thorns mesh into his fingers as he tried to hold onto me

My beauty was not worth his struggle

So he let go

The red rose of my cheek,

The red rose of my lips was not worth his struggle

So he let go

I stood squared shouldered, gun in my holster

He was contacted by my eyes,

His heart contracted as he sighed in relaxation at the sweet sounds of my bullshit

Another chance meant he’d have to change

Another chance meant he’d have to get used to placing his fingers in his mouth and sucking away the bloody pain of being wrong and swallow the disgusting denial of fault

Another chance meant he’d have to say I’m sorry

Another chance meant he’d have to acknowledge that I don’t look best when laying on my back

And I don’t feel most pleasant when he’s on top of me

Another chance meant he must do better

And another chance is not what he wanted

He wanted another me

A different me who he could step on

A different me who wouldn’t make him uncomfortable, or draw attention to the ways he failed me and himself

Yet I couldn’t just tell him that another chance was not only improbable,

It was also impossible.

But I lied to him and told him I’d be back

Before I captured the sun in my smile again

I’d be back before my blood pressure rose from the stress of entertaining a lover who loves you know more like how oil loves water

I’d be back before I lost another pants size

I’d be back before my phone’s battery died on 15%

I told him I’d be back because I thought I’d give him a taste of the poison of wanting something so bad and waiting on it

I told him I’d be back

And he’s still waiting but I am not to return.

The Normal Emotional Happenings of a Girl with a Conscience: a poem

 

july 26, 2016

are these the normal emotional happenings of a girl with a conscience?

of the hundreds if not thousands of people i have helped and encouraged it feel utterly meaningless if i have stepped on the one

the one has gone anything but unnoticed

the one carries a weight, a mass despite what planet I may find myself on

the one matters

the one of course is the exception (i’d like to think)

but the one still orbits around my head          at night              or when i’m doing the dishes

or when i’m in the shower trying to cleanse myself of the filth       from     a day      when i could not stop thinking

about the one?

is this normal?

for guilt to swallow me whole         for disappointment to digest me in acidity

no matter the activity

i am trying to perform to distract me

to stop me from thinking about the one.

the one i hurt,

the one i loved with my whole heart                            except how did i love the one?

love wouldn’t do that

love wouldn’t’ do what i did to the one who loved me so much

who made me laugh til my belly ached

the one whose smile had a small      space in the front in the form of a gap           but whose heart had made so        much room for me

are these thoughts normal?
are these the normal emotional happenings of a girl with a conscience?

to be hurt by hurting someone

to know that i am my brother and sister’s keeper              but what is next when you fail?

i try to move on but i am the kind of person    who thinks all things can be fixed

that nothing cannot be restored or put together

in my world even glass can be unbroken    all holes can be patched     that indefinite lost thing can be found

even a vase      or    a smashed face          can undergo reconstructive surgery

but i am living in the world not my own    i know how this goes

trust is like the mirror that has shattered

and history is that record which cannot be undone,

erased,

edited or

changed

history as it lies can only can be accepted

this all could make sense if i weren’t the girl with the conscience

if i could pretend i don’t care about the one

or how the one is doing

or how the one feels about me

or how the one feels about one’s self because of me

i have affected the one and i know that but i hope the one does not hate me

in the same ways i have hated me

i hope the one does not ruminate about my mistakes the way i have

the one is much stronger than me

was more mature than me

and while that along with my fragility and immaturity is no excuse

it does explain how i can become an assailant of abuse

it explains how someone who is usually a good friend acts out of character

and for infinities becomes             the person she wouldn’t want to be

or be friends with either

what keeps me above water,

what keeps me from fading into darkness

what keeps me from praying curses over myself

is that i am not the first to fail someone

that maybe the one has or will fail someone too

that such an experience will give the one a bit of mercy for me

authentic forgiveness for my soul

now i know god feels when we constantly say we                                                                                love him but then go right back to our wickedness

he must feel so betrayed

the one has god within so in part when i hurt the one

i have hurt my father in heaven

even if me and the one cannot ever be friends

the lord has mercy for me

that the lord is constantly calling for a relationship with him no matter how many times i  fail

his love endures forever

his love covers a multitude of sins

the one is not god

and i don’t expect such divine qualities from the one

i  don’t expect limitless chances and infinite         forgiveness

but the small   tortured    part    of me   would ask for it any way

i don’t expect reconciliation but i long for it

for longing

desire

and riddance of shame are all shares of the emotional happening of a girl with a conscience

 

 

 

Ebonics and other sounds: Another Pro-Black Poem

The pastor told me

to never complain about pain pray only,

I used to be the girl who needed to hold me

someone carry with caution, sensitive fragility

Yea she the old me

I aint the only one who loves, the God above who sent the dove God’s homie

olive branch, peace keeper,

another chance, peace seeker,

not lil chano from 79th, but I still had to be home before the street lights came on

183rd street to dolton and harvey

where food deserts leave people starving

5 mile walk til the nearest ALDIS

 

She is majestic, apostolic, mean collard green concocting comic,

meditated comedian,

if you are melanated you’re premium

not regular, not unleaded

She is light– green lantern

Light the night sky so very black

Black panther, no hearts,  black fits,

we don’t stand, we sit to protest the national anthem

black deaths been happening social media just act one scene one

I open my twitter feed and black death is reruns

they giving sons free guns, no person of color freedom

 

OH how I love America the country that illegal adopted me

who kidnapped me to labor while she leisured

meanwhile political temperature rising to a fever

Oh How I love America where skittles arizona tea, cigarettes

being black in this country is a reason for death

6 foot 7 foot 8 foot brothers in one casket

burials and home goings but justice ain’t forthcoming

wondering how we gone get past it

 

every resource, precious metal can be found where we settled,

indigenous, native blacks

sporadic middle passage passengers

sewing seeds germinate the pastures

assassinate the king, Dr. King the pastor

We don’t need another civil activist to no longer act captured

Rich soil, but poor people

kinks and coils moisturized by black castor oil

4C  hair products found in the ethnic aisle of products we share

meanwhile we clowning on Gabby douglass for her hair

For the culture,
A culture of violence of white supremacy and we still manage to be black

Yet see black as the enemy

A frame of mindset set in movies where the plot won’t change

potted plant, plot of land,

No Harry Potter, the master’s hands,

I’m a master piece, no magic damned

I don’t rap but you can catch me at the slam

 

God gave me words,

verbs love in action

not trying to make anyone else happy, just try to reach my God’s satisfaction

 

The very God who is the very to my good.

The utmost to my highest

Extra to my ordinary

The burden of my rhymes gets heavy but it ain’t nothing a strong black woman can’t carry

 

Trees like us get cut down

but the roots are still there

We say their names cause we the trees still here

and we still care

 

Being black makes you an economic commodity

excuse

my lack of modesty but don’t let them twist and change the prophecy and neglect or reject the prodigy

our ancestors had breast on they chest that feed a glutinous country

leaving no one hungry

and sorry not sorry if i sound angry

but i’m gone put this bluntly

We are a people of the land of milk and honey

We possess ambition and drive with no car

With no book, We possess wisdom and knowledge

and fact b: some of our ancestors couldn’t even spell college

And here we are at this university facing all this adversity with one common audacity

 

To grind to keep going knowing that

We are a people of the land of milk and honey

it ain’t a fable

how mama put meals on a table

with no money

We are miracle workers

 

 

Make New Friends and Keep the Old: Sike!

“Make friends, it’s easy” said your parents or possibly your teachers. To a certain extent, the task of making friends has a low level of difficulty. Making new friends is easy, especially when we use the term friend so loosely, when we truly mean an associate or at the bare minimum someone we “know”. Only requiring saying your name, maybe revealing a few shallow attributes about yourself, and if you’re really about that life showing a tad bit of unexpected vulnerability, forming friendships seems quite simplistic.  With such a big emphasis on broadening your horizons through networking and creating valuable relationships with your peers, I think we ignore a huge aspect in the cycle of friendships—the decline and death.

“Recently, I just exited a long-term relationship.” Who says that… when they’re talking about a friend?

“I had to break up with her” I explained to my close friend.

I look at friendships as real relationships whose end involves a break up. I can’t do that whole “stop texting, stop calling, avoidance and evasion routine” in which you pretend that you and your friend are gradually growing apart. I just can’t— that’s not my style, unless that friend didn’t mean that much to me, but in that case I have to ask were they ever really my friend? See, I’ve learned that some of the most harmful notions in the world are assumptions. Assumptions are used to make things easier for us, or another person all the time but they never give us clarity, and when we lack clarity, we often don’t know what the next step is. Assumptions lead to confusion, delirium, doubt, fear and insecurity.

Example:

Let’s say I see an attractive guy. As we walk past each other, he smiles at me and I smile back. He says, “hey” to me. Immediately, if I let my mind run amok the situation can escalate. He must like me.. why else would he smile at me and make such firm eye contact?   better yet most guys don’t speak to you so if this random guy who doesn’t even know me says hi, then he actually probably must be planning to say more than hey to me again the next time we cross paths God willing.

Now I may be exaggerating but honestly I’m too creative and so are the assumptions I am so ready and willing to impose. I hope even my over the top example can serve as a notice.

Just cause the guy said hi doesn’t mean he likes me. He could be simply a friendly guy, he could have smiled because he’s in a good mood because he recently earned a promotion at his job. Maybe he smiled at me because I was awkwardly smiling at him first and I was completely unaware of it. Either way if I were to make the assumption that he liked based off such a trivial encounter I would most definitely receive a blow to my ego in the form of subsequent feelings of rejection after I realize truly how wrong I was.

Moving right along, I don’t want anyone to assume how I feel about them. I want to clarify, demystify and leave no individual guess on how I feel. I’ve been left guess far  too frequently so I detest that sense of uncertain that arises when accommodating what my mother would call “fair weathered” friends or as my pops would say “sometimers”. Fair weathered friends abide with you while the weather (of your life) is all well but when you’re feeling low and everything is going south where did they flee? How many excuses have they for why they missed your calls or why they couldn’t help you in the ways you’ve helped them.

When relationships end and Borge parties know it’s over closure can’t come from your friend. It has to come from you– from an internal source.