Woman.

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
thoughts.

I will still be
woman when
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
chasing rain

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
spirit
seeing the beauty…
of its majesty…
and
how loud things must
quiet down when
Imago Dei
manifests.

(c) 2014 R W

Harriets Footsteps.

The forest
she ran from
they try
and run back
to
like shoe laces
looking for shoes
to make use
of them.

brown fingers
scraping the
trees
like prison bars…
scraping the
magic out of our skin—
our hands…
not being meant for
the round of our throats.
feel like strangers
when they choke us.

Black children.
Do not let the TV become you.
Do not turn into shriveling
song and sore back
and sorry.

Become rather
like the night
your skin
reflects.

become a chest
of stars…
spread across the
scope of God’s smile
so much so
that they
will not contain
you.

Run,
and run,
and do not
stop running
until
they can
no longer
tell you who you
are.

Until Harriet’s
footsteps
are engraved
on their palms.
and they will
no longer be able
to hold you.

(c) 2014 R W

What I am.

I.
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.

II.
America.
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
breathing room
to see.

I need to breathe
before I see.
I need to see before I become.


III.

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.

America.
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
to universe
illuminating
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
will
behold our
truth.

(C) 2014 R W

Dripping Faucet. (Old poem I found)

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 shoes
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
are becoming…

a flash back.
a ray of sun dimming out into the stars…
just a figment of your own imagination

Ms 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

This is 75% freestyle. I didn’t feel like editing. It sounds raw. yay.

Some things just needed to be vented out…and I was once again caught up in my feelings (what’s new) lmao.

Beat is called Dreamy by J DILLA

NEVER

you didn’t think I’d ever leave you.
you didn’t think I’d be brave to.
to leave you.

Now I’m walking with the footsteps of a baby
walking in unknown territory
surely
I’ve proved myself true
I’ll do what I gotta do.

I’ve proved myself
surely it’s true
I’ll do what I gotta do

I would…
I would cut my finger off
if my finger chose
to betray the soul
it was supposed to
help protect

I would cut my chest
if my heart decided
it would make my life
a living hell without my consent

I would cut my finger off
if my finger chose
to betray the soul
it was supposed to
help protect

I would cut my chest
if my heart decided
it would make my life
a living hell without consent…

So
why did you think I couldn’t let you go?
Don’t you know I will always survive
I’m like a…shark
I’ll find the spot wherever I need to

why did you think I couldn’t let you go?
Don’t you know I’m a samurai
I’ll find my way out
no matter what.


(c) R W 2014

Beat is called DOO DOO by J DILLA.

Sleepwalking

"my dreams are a stale glass
of real on an afternoon
hot with too many past due chances.
too many shoulda coulda’s and woulda’s
too many nights consumed with laughter
too many nights sleeping on couches
dreaming blank the hours away
only to awake to cereal bowls
and cartoons
teaching me how to fall
over myself and not feel the blood flowing from my heart.
teaching me how to not feel anything beyond
the hours my eyes locked into the TV screen like tongues
trying so desperately to explain away the relevance of everything I was too foolish not to pay attention to.

Now I am looking at my hands
and they are asking what i think they are here
for
asking me if I really believe that what I do
everyday constitutes as doing?
Zombies don’t get awards for being themselves
for mulling along like a monotone hum
strumming along the dry spell of
unused talent.

And ain’t that what I is?

A remnant of my younger self?
Once a balloon oversized and floating on a horizon of ideas
now ritually following the sheep back and forth
from work to home to work to home to work and
and back…making no difference
welling up all the opinion and heart I have for facebook
and twitter posts like they mean something

man
i long to run my fingers through
every childhood rant
when i told my parents what I’d be
and I believed it
looked into my future and saw myself
becoming…
not famous
or popular…
just becoming
just being to the fullest extent
what God may have me to be
whether small as a seed or as big
as an oak…
I just want to be.
I just want to get my act together.
I just want to make use of these limbs
I hold my hands up and they look at me
like a stranger…
and they ask
me if I’m ready
to awaken my dreams”

(c) R W 2014

Why We Need Him

Because
We trip on sidewalks
and in sentences
We spill coffee and heartache
We burn fingers and rice and relationships
We are often more claw than kisses
more rip than rub
and we do not know it all.

and even when we do know.
even when our fingernails our clean
and our words are ironed crisp and sweet
like sunday morning…
we cannot be quenched
the tongues of our heart
stick out of our chest like
opposable thumbs
fingering for something
worth the nothing hidden
underneath the crevices
of our thoughts…

worth the moments we
realize that we are not enough
that this is not enough
and nothing is ever enough
ever to bring complete
the walking questions
we are searching
and searching
for God

Even when we do not realize it
and he is evermore here
evermore God
evermore keeping his children
from falling into
the thin empty
we so often
wade in.

(c) 2014 R W