Somewhere in the Oceans

Is this some new great white shark?
One that holds lightning ‘tween its teeth?
Lord, hammercy.
I could do without that
again–

Oh, it’s just those white men with Lightning in their hands again–
they like the way I look
for some invasive reason or another…

I’m just trying to get to where I’m going.
It’s been 98 years since I’ve seen my Aunt Kimaya.
She makes me smiiile.

So, go ‘head and stare if y’all must.
Just please, please point your lightning somewhere else–
it’s hard enough to see as it is.

#personification, #poetry, #sea-turtles, #water

The Driest Tears

Dez did always tell me that a Black man’s tears are sand. “Sand in an hour glass, to be exact,” he would say staring at things I wished I could see. And here I am, hands dripping sand, cheeks dry with the dust of my hourglass tears. Again. And again, I’m seeing his skyward gaze, his distant smile. And again, I’m wondering why these tears are falling.

I focus on the task at hand, brushing my teeth. My reflection betrays my attempt at normalcy. The taste of salt mixes with the minty freshness. I spit into the sink, then cup my hands below the faucet. The cool water pools into my palm, I wash away the vaguely rabid foam of the Crest. I repeat, splashing droplets onto the mirror as I wet my tear-dampened face. The water touches a memory.

“You think a lot,” he said almost complaintively. We were in my studio apartment, conveniently located between my job on campus and my favorite coffee spot. I took a breath to glance at him lying comfortably on my bed before responding. “So I’ve been told.” Paying him minimal attention, I continue replying to work emails.

“What do you think about crying?”

I remember how taken aback I was. The question carried the weight of serious thought, yet was hurled at me like a wad of paper.

“I think it’s natural,” I offered, my voice fraying around the edges with uncertainty. He scoffed at my non-committal reply.

Natural, you would say that. Luxe, man, you have to stop being so predictable,” Dez teased, sitting up. I realized, probably belatedly, that Dez had changed positions. Our gazes were at eye level when he finished his jibe. “Being predictable takes away some of the fun in winning you over.”

The mirror slowly reveals a weak smile. The memory offers some relief before the threat of tears creeps right behind it. Remember, a Black man’s tears are sand in an hourglass. They always stop in time to save face, I’d finish. Isn’t that right, Dez?

The bathroom darkened with an abrupt flick! of the lightswitch. In the shadows, my petty reflection held just enough light to showcase one last tear trailing my cheek. With a sigh, I went back to my room to finish dressing.

-Rahk., Between Men: The Driest Tears

#memories, #prose, #relationships

Enigmatic by Rahk

as the sky is blue
so are oceans
so are bays
so are winged things
that glide and flitter between rock
so are slithering things
that shimmer and hide beneath rock

as the sky is blue
as the oceans
as the bays
as the puddles reflecting twilight
as the robes that roll down blue black legs
as the dust glimmering on a catepillar’s dreams
as the wings
as the wings
of defiant things
flicking off the ground

as the sky is blue
so are streams and lakes and ponds
so are infants and women and boys
so are auroras undulating in brown eyes
so are turning tassels
and the timid flames of eighty-nine cent lighters
and dishonest prayer cloths
and unused bookmarks
and little girls forced to wear dresses
and little boys bruised while wearing dresses

as the sky is blue
and fluid and vast
and unafraid of its horizons
so are you


Rahk.

#excerpt, #poetry, #water, #when-rahk-writes

Stained Glass (Excerpt from “Copperhead”)

After a frustrating, yet moving service, Minister Bully returns to her small office to open the note she found in the church hymnal. It was folded, yet slightly exposed as the hymnal rested on the shelf of the pew in front of her.

Bully’s breath catches in her throat at the sight of her daughter’s name.

 

To: Min. Bully

From: Copperhead

Those men you share the pulpit with, they don’t intend to give you that freedom you crave. They don’t mean to give any of us freedom. And you know it. I know you know it.

You are the same woman who, with utmost certainty, declared: “Men, they mean you no harm because they don’t mean to see you as equal. Their own kindness, because that’s what they’d call it, will never let you speak as clear as the dainty glass they think you are.”

You are the mural those kind men try to cover when they recognize their true stature.

Don’t allow their kindness (because that’s what you’d call it) to leave you as melted sand. Let their so-called kindness temper you, mama. On the day stained glass speaks, it will speak with your voice.

#bully, #copperhead, #letter, #water