"but there are people walking without them"
is the thought that came to mind
while watching one of those fabulous shoe website commercials
the ones where some woman is drooling…
literally drooling buckets of saliva
or making orgasmic sounds
or breakdancing on the kitchen table.
for a bunch of shoes.
I mean it’s a bunch of shoes that only cost $39.99 each
and you will be the envy of all your friends
and you will drive your husband/boyfriend/some random guy insane
because you’ll eventually have closets and closets of heels for every
and everyone will love you and want to be you
and there are people walking around without shoes.
in the millions
feeling each cobblestone and sanded floor
swallowing glass and puddle between their toes
and becoming whatever magic they’re destined for… and they would find
joy in just one pair.
just one pair of shoes…
would satisfy the quench in their spirits even without the envious friends
or the closet space.
(c) 2014 RW
is playing in my background.
And I’m thinking…
I don’t know any sad jazz songs
to blanket these feelings I have.
So I google:”Angry Jazz Song That Will Comfort A Strange Heart Grieving A Boy Lost to Systemic Racism”
I google:”Song that will soothe the painful aches that hit the back of my throat oh so familiar when I don’t know what to say”
Song that will help me to feel. One that will remind me that feeling is not enough.
This is not our first time crossing these cotton fields
We have fought off more…and the scars on our backs from their footsteps prove it…
and we have a right for justice
our ancestors left enough trail mix to find it and claim it as home
but home…looks more graveyard than place mat.
and another young boy found his face on the pavement.
and his dreams were second place
and this is how it always goes.
and no black boy is safe…
and no black mind can rest.
Google never answers my questions.
Leaves my screen blank as though in a disarray as to why I would assume its help
I am an in disarray still…wondering where to go from here.
Me a black child on the other side of the states…wants to weep for Mike Brown…but knows the salt in my tears cannot flavor the taste of this evil.
it cannot make this less normal. After Diallo…I stopped believing in existence being anymore screwed than this.
Miles davis takes one last blow of he horn
The “so what” piece fades to black…
the so what piece fades to black
And i fight not to do the same.
on a night that stretched
round the earth twice
my heart was
sticking all over the dance floor
trying to hiccup love
out of every song
like it would be enough
to quench the thirst
of want tickling
the rib of mine that
used to lean
as though it were his own.
My hips swung
back and forth
as if the beat
were my freedom
as if the beat said…
as if it said
"you will be okay
and that would be enough.
But lonely is one hell
of a drug.
eventually left me in a corner
watching the flickering
lights and the bodies
that swayed together
while I drenched
in a dark that had no on switch.
(c) 2014 RW
I almost kissed another lover.
Almost fell into an ocean’s chest
carrying all of the love letters
and disappointment on my back
with my fingers clawing at the wind
because my true love is not true
and it’s everyone’s
fault why I’m
And don’t nobody want to be alone
when it’s hot.
We want popsicles
and tube tops
and long kisses
and sticky hands
holding together til the sweat
lay a covenant of body and
and we are in more
ways than one—
We want love that
makes sunsets out of our
out of our mouths
like grapes from
spilling all over our
shirts in excess
Even if it’s not love and
we don’t call it that—we call it that…
Making laughter and skin so necessary to
touch even if by accident.
And I accidently almost tripped into a firmament of my tears
arms still holding all the memory of marriage and children and xxx rendezvous
I mean thoughts…
I mean thoughts become memory when you believe them…
they weren’t mine to believe and I shouldn’t have thought so…
and it felt like everyone’s fault why I didn’t realize
and I may never realize it
But you, summer, are a thousand smiles…
and my heart, a creaking door…
could not close fast enough before
your sun-rays sent my brown legs
running into the arms
of a beautiful day.
(c) 2014 R W
There are too many things to say about you.
I am sitting on my couch…
thinking of all the reasons
I should not be remembering how
weird we were together
But Mike Tyson has a TV show
and I don’t have anyone else to call.
No one would watch it with me
No one will understand
how much his lisp makes
me bubble over like soap suds
how much seeing him
cartooned makes living
in this millennium
that much more worth it.
I mean..they made a pigeon
a character. A pigeon!
And there’s so many philosophical
funny nonsense to unpack from that…
But without you to hear them
it isn’t the same.
I am not the same—
sitting on the same couch
I sat on when ending this love
thing we had—
reminiscing and missing
and hating you for making
me such an incomplete
Leaving me to the lonely
shivers of memory
all the beautifully
I have to tell myself
not to remember
R W (c) 2014
Cat calls do not make me woman.
neither does a man’s glance
though it linger on my skin
like sewage clings to drain
I no longer cling to
the whisper of their
I will still be
they do not notice.
when they do not
call me sweetly.
when they do not
ask for my hand
my heart will
still be contained.
when they do
not ask me to dance
my hips will still
move like wind
I will still be the
rain chasing earth
like a lover
like a rainbow realizing
itself after a thunderstorm
seeing the covenant
God made of its
seeing the beauty…
of its majesty…
how loud things must
quiet down when
(c) 2014 R W
she ran from
and run back
like shoe laces
looking for shoes
to make use
like prison bars…
magic out of our skin—
not being meant for
the round of our throats.
feel like strangers
when they choke us.
Do not let the TV become you.
Do not turn into shriveling
song and sore back
like the night
become a chest
spread across the
scope of God’s smile
so much so
will not contain
and do not
tell you who you
on their palms.
and they will
no longer be able
to hold you.
(c) 2014 R W
I do not need the news stations to tell me what I am.
calling my people vagabonds in a land we built
out of blood and ground.
a land that is still unfamiliar to our tongues.
still yielding the disconcerting belly ache
that comes when one has not yet found home.
we have instead found our ancestors slave garb
on our dinner tables every night.
coaxing us to wear ourselves back into a dimming silence
pushing us further into the corner room
telling us we will die like cattle in the streets
we will run from our homes like thieves
we will live this life how they let us and will apologize for the tears spilled along the way.
We will fit perfectly within lines drawn.
holding watermelons and saying cheese when the camera’s lit.
folding our hands on top of each other
over and over until
there are no fingers left to point us back
on the right path.
You hold my birth certificate in your chambers
You call me by my first name…
You tell me my hair is not straight enough.
My black is too black
My hips are too wide
But still you do not know me.
Still you try to hold me in your shadow
crumbling like stone over my dreams
an avalanche of no’s pilling upon the back and forth breaths of
this chest so desperate to find enough
I need to breathe
before I see.
I need to see before I become.
You try to stifle me in this corner room
with this watermelon smile
and this quiet.
and this promise of secondhand life
and momentary victories
but never what I am worth.
I am the sun…
glowing first like a spindle of hope
crawling out of the night like the fingers
of my kin
grabbing and screaming—
a ferocious lion’s roar
of light spreading fast from
hemisphere to firmament
a reflection of God too
bright for your thin arms to hold
You cannot tell me who I am.
My bones are too much of a horizon…
for the sand stuck in your eyes…
and my people are an entire existence
slowly enveloping over the mountain of you…
whether you realize it or not.
You have and
(C) 2014 R W
Ms kitchen sink
Miss sinking ship
Miss shipment of sickness
you missed the stop sign this morning.
You miss it every morning.
Too busy undoing yourself
Trying to undo the hurt tied to the sole of those shoes you love so much
Those too tight shoes you had to get so you’d feel new
And that pride
Cuz Nobody can tell you nothing is written on the inside of your skin
cuz your mouth holds lava ready to destroy Towns
Ready to weed out whatever opportunities left to smile
It’s been a while
Miss middle child
Still pinning for love in the between spaces.
Still scratching to that itch
Only ripping the skin
The lonely hasn’t quite yet settled in
Only gets bigger
and bloated over
You say everything just by running
by the clickety clank of broken feet.
Boy it’s loud
Loud like your mamas words and the absence of her
Didn’t quite get over the memories
Boat couldn’t last the sea of nightmare
So you claw away at your root
At the branch
at the very leaf of your joy
trickling down into dust and ash
covering your fingers pointed
outward like a lions roar
Miss long fingers
miss everybody did it to me except me
miss I can’t understand why this room of mine is cold
and why this voice of mine is hoarse
and why this feet of mine is soar…
got all amnesia
forgetting how you walked yourself here
how you slapped the hands reaching for you
how you yelled at the horizon of last night
told it to stop reminding you of what you
a flash back.
a ray of sun dimming out into the stars…
just a figment of your own imagination
do you realize who you are?
have you stood in yourself yet?
yourself is waiting
has been waiting to embrace you
long since you passed the stop
sign this morning.
Won’t you stop?
Won’t you please stop?
Love is waiting to tell you
God is planning to tell you
that you don’t have to run any longer.
That your dripping faucet
can be fixed…
(c) R W 2012