“black wishes matter…”

passed a wishing well
considered diving in
filling my pockets with water & wishes

was thirsty, hung over,
in desperate need of sustenance
just a smidgen of glistening magic

the twinkle of the nickels & dimes
sparkled among the evidence of lesser wishes
even in wishing wells
the brown ones get less attention

decided against jumping in the water
too many eyes
besides
the drenching wet negro isn’t hard to catch
on a fall afternoon
being inconspicuous is important
when doing the devils work
unless you work for the state…

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“brush strokes”

even lines on blank canvas
she works her imagination
into masterpieces
I am enamored
with her even handed
slow motion

painting creation
her fine lines
circles & incongruous right angles
explosions of black girl magic
like a break beat and trumpet
mixed pastels and cheap vodka

we mix colors with cuddling & goodnight kisses

the champagne tastes like sin
but if God meant the sun to hug the sky
then he assuredly intended
that she dance reckless
in her birthday clothes
against my wanting glances

pray to be her next piece
or at least be pigments
on her easel
in my next life

an existential crisis of faith
in everything I know
everything I know questions these efforts
but you never really get the picture
till the artist is finished…

“fair warnings”

the rivers full of snakes, they said
would be advised to stay out the water.
God protects
babies and fools
so often I already know the out come.

Out come the devil
to defeat and destroy
you niggaz
I’m gonna tell
you niggaz
Prison sells
you niggaz
would be better to murder
than to put him in the hands of the enemy

the inner me
has a better plan
demand God
intervene, intercede and enter me
change my perspective
give me wisdom & discernment
because God knows the system
hates you smarty art niggaz
speech proper, upright, strong
like Dr.Huey,
Like Fred from Chicago,
like A. Philip Randolph in Harlem supporting Garvey

hardly see anyone together
till funeral processions
or Saturday Night
sweat, liquor, and unprotected sex
you niggaz
kill me and you kill yourselves
never noticing
we are the same niggaz

you niggaz vs us niggaz
leaves us all inferior
but they warned me
about the snakes in the water
but let me warn you
they are on your timeline too…

the bum’s rush

their stares are
satchels full of daggers
that puncture flesh

a life
less ambition
more addiction
will suffer you indignity

you will lose
more than your smile
youth seldom is forgiving
having never known shame
the pains of false promises
mistakes that aren’t washed away with apology

the suffering you sleep under
at night
at the shelter
isn’t enough
karma wants more blood
pity the man
left to strong drink & his own devices
suffering his way homeless
disheveled and stinky
sticky and wild
last night was an endurance of hell fire
the begging wasn’t a trick
laying there alone
dying
isn’t a punishment
it is the product of our apathetic failures
at being God
shame on us
for losing even one of his children
to the fire
of his own devices
pity our judgement now
less when we are judged
by the thing that created us
the same wretched, we smile.

happy feelings

**inspired by Happy Feelings by Frankie Beverly and Maze**

Happy words of giggling “Giving Tree” branches
your first hit in a baseball game
after all that fucking practice
Brand new ironed outfit
first day of school smiles
“Yes” checked boxes on passed notes
Getting her cell phone password
right on the 3rd try and finding
absolutely nothing to be mad about

The first few beers
the last few puffs
and the dreams that still make sense

perfect words
that mean everything you mean to say
saying everything you meant
while there is still time
time is fleeting
life grows shorter every mile
you better find something beautiful
to hold onto if only for a little while…

postmortem dismissal

the instructor rose
greeted the lecture hall
as he ascended the podium
he began to speak:

We will remember these things differently
you won’t remember the exact day
I won’t remember

Love has a funny way of costing us
today’s lesson is faded Polaroid photographs,
eulogies, and the inevitable surrender of parkour romances.
Let me tell you something

he says
slamming his fists on the lectern

Love is a calculated insanity
demons hiding under tussled bed liens
testifying against our fornicated vanity

I am just a man
alone here for far too many semesters
seen graduations, passed & failed dreams
I lied in the syllabus
you don’t start with a passing grade
we all knew this would be
far more difficult than that

When the reporters ask
of my demeanor tell them he was confident
in the coffee stain on his lesson plans
but love won’t answer ransom notes

he pauses
returns to his desk

revolver

then returns to the podium
fearful of Columbine/Sandy Hook memorials
the room holds its collective breath

YOU NEED THIS LESSON
today you will learn
what giving up looks like
what bad habits & unnatural disasters smell like
& how long it takes for disloyalty to devour
your will to everything
I BEGGED FOR HER FORGIVENESS
he says
shouting the next few sentences
he swallows…