Pallor

I am not the
Fair maiden.
I am not the
fairest in all the land.

The pastiness of
This skin can only
Be the result of a
Black heart. Not pumping
The vital source
Of richness we all need
To be human.

I lurk in shadows
Only because the light
Is too much.

I am not a flower
I am the mold
Grown in the darkness
Fed by the tears
I’ve cried alone.

I’ve spent my life in
The victim’s cave.
But I am no damsel
In distress. Not waiting
For someone to save me.

I am the witch
Never to be understood.
Living in a land of black magic.
Cooking over the billowing
Fire which I have made
Under my own feet.

I sit quietly
Devise a plan
And strike like
A snake who
Hasn’t fed in weeks.

I am not the fair maiden.
I do not believe in fairness.
The pastiness of my skin
Is the effect of my cause.
Not living among the living.
I am surviving my own poisonous
Heart.

American Woman

You want to know
What it’s like to be a
Woman in modern day
America? Home of the free?

Forgive me when I say,
I am pretty. And how that changes my experience. Aesthetics aren’t always choices made.

When I walk down the street
I dare not say I am
Fearful, but
Cautious
Hyper-vigilant
On guard.

Knowing that I am the object
In a sea of faces
Removes my mask

To be the female subject of the
Patriarchal society is just
A fancy way to say what we have always really been
Property.

I belong to no man
I’m not looking for a man
To whom I want to belong.

I want to belong in this world
Embrace it in all its narrative
Splendor. The spectacle that is life
And not defined by the type of my
Stereo sound board that echoes
From my shadow in the street.

I want to embrace fashion without consequence. I don’t want to learn to protect myself because I should have never been marked prey.

Still, I pray that I can just keep
My mouth shut when I hear him screaming, “damn baby you fine. you gotta man?” Because I don’t have a man. But I am doing fine.

No matter why or what he has said to me, I look at my feet in defeat. Unless my impulse kicks in. Fight. Or. Flight. Will always stir a “Fuck. You.”

But I don’t want to fuck you.

I want to stand in line at the gas station and not think about how short my shorts are or regret that I didn’t put on pants. Because it’s too hot for pants.

I want to wear a dress and still be strong and not reduced to a slight variation of who I am by some stranger who wants to tell me I’m cute or pry into my personal life asking about my relationship status.

Public and private has gotten confused. We need to remember respect. In public and in private.

And when I wear a skirt, I don’t need to be told I’m disrespecting myself when I know that disrespect is coming from that gaze.

And when I hold fast to my principles, I do not need to be marred a shrew or a prude.
And if I want to have a one night stand, I reserve that right as much as you.

We women may have made it out of the kitchen, but it won’t be long before we feel that’s where we belong. Because in our kitchens at least we can be who we are without being questioned or threatened.

My body is mine and mine alone. It is my most private and intimate relationship I have. But I cannot leave it behind. When I enter the public arena, I bring her with me always.
It would be nice, if you respected her, too.

If I could only be pretty in private I would do it. Because to be pretty in public means I am prey. So tonight, I’m praying for the strength in my bones. To keep me safe. With my
Caution
Hyper vigilance
And guard up.
I am free to be
Feminine property
On the land of the brave.

To Whom it May Concern:

Take your own advice.
I know, it’s a jagged pill.

I am nobody special.
I struggle and hurt like anybody else.
Our histories are intertwined, so it goes.

Yet, the more distance I think I have from you, the closer you’re getting.
I don’t like it.
It is not okay.

You spent four months with my heart…. Maybe 8 if you add it all together… That was enough.

I am not your muse.
I am not your friend.

Autonomy

Removing the line of contact.
I had to to keep myself intact.
Knowing that she could see me
Always left me feeling exposed

At times, I wanted myself exposed
To her, In hopes that she would understand. She didn’t want to understand. She wanted to keep
A fascination alive, a feeling of what,
I will never know.

It is nice to be the object of someone else’s intrigue. I guess that is why I write. But when that fascination crosses boundaries and moves from the page to my real life, something has to give. So, I gave in.

I pulled the shades. No longer feeding her the information she so craved. The attention she needed that I was all too willing to supply.
My willingness has subsided.
I’ve aligned my thoughts and actions.
I’ve retreated into myself.
Put on a blacker sweater. Who’s the shadow, now?

What You Could and Couldn’t Do

Couldn’t hold tight
To the couldn’t.
That slip of the tongue
When you said
“I could care less”

You revised. Admitted
Your misnomer
Then, deleted.
Because you could
Care less. You could
Care a lot less.

Maybe you wish
You could because you
Know you should. But
You don’t. Erasure of
The evidence is
Tampering.

This case belongs to us
Our little secret. A place
Where I know you couldn’t
And you could.

We chose our words
Selected them with the
Scrutiny we both wish
We didn’t have.

In your haste and
Naïveté you selected
Wrong. You could
You wish you couldn’t

Your language sold you out.
Your absence pulls you back
The thing you named
Has expired. Can you believe
In the thing that no longer believes
In you. You could or couldn’t
It wouldn’t make a difference.

Transference of the reference
Your language is confused.
Your slipping tongue has no
Place near me. How strange for
You. not dominating with the precise
Tongue slippage which has defined your promiscuous past.

I won’t be seduced.
Whether you could or
Couldn’t, we both know the truth.

My Business

See, you
There again
Entering my domain
Pretending to be interested
Holding onto hope, or
Anything you can grasp, but
Nothing that you can keep.
I’m not your pet, or
Entertainment.

Queasy
Unsettled
Interruptions
Topple one on the other

Life has taken
On a different energy
Offering the life that I wanted before.
Knowing that time
Interferes and dreams
Never die
Girl, you have got to go.

Freedom is an
Open heart and mind on an open
Road. Smiling.

Acceptance is the space of
Never getting revenge. But
Stop acting like you know
What you definitely do not know.
Everything you think you are
Relax.itsjustme
Sitting in the dark.

Temporal exchange
Heading toward the future
Remembering the present
Oscillating toward the past.
Under the guise of my
Gratitude for the time
Having passed

Minding my business
Evading yours.