You Tried It (Excerpt from “Hard Conversations: Love Poems”)

You are less empty than you pretend

You are no cup air drying on the counter
You are no tablet, factory reset successful
You are not the first page in the sketchbook of an undiscovered artist

You are far less empty than you pretend

You are:
A crescent moon peaking from your whole self,
The beginning of a hidden forest,
The living scripture spoken by God
punctuated by revelations.

You are full and splashing over the hard edges of the Hoover Dam
unable to be contained
by concrete, steel, and man’s intentions

~Rahk

#art-therapy, #black-art-matters, #egos, #faith, #hope, #life, #love-poems, #poem, #poetry

The Text Read: “I need u to write me a poem…”

When the text came in, I was overjoyed. As an avid advocator of self-expression, I insisted that she was perfectly capable of writing it herself–she, of course, begged to differ but sent her thoughts anyway. She would not let me convince her that her thoughts, as they stood, qualified as a poem. She laughed me off and insisted that I take the wheel. Using her original poem/thoughts as a guide, I composed a new poem. It was as exhilarating as always! Here is her original:

Happy,
I don’t want your so-called happiness
I don’t want to be so happy
that I strain my physical astigmatism
To adjust my minds eye to the blindness
of my deceitful figurative heart
I don’t want to be happy anymore,
knowing that when I turn the corner
I’ll be blindsided by a breathtaking blow
I don’t want to be happy anymore
ignoring the push of your pain
and the pain of your push
I don’t want to be happy anymore
when u ask for I do
but show me you don’t
until you do again
I don’t want to be happy anymore
if it means extreme highs and bottomed out lows
I don’t want to be happy anymore w/ you…

~Anonymous

Poetry, for me, has always been conversation. A conversation between the heart and the mind, or between the writer and the subject, or with no one in particular. The next poem is my side of the conversation, my response, which I see as a sort of translation.

Your so-called happy
don’t spell itself out for me
for us
for this we I faithed
into existence
This happy you preached
to my congregational heart
This happy you requested offering for
only to frown at my 2 cents

You are not familiar with kneeling
You do not understand altars
Your happy knows nothing of repentance

I don’t want no happy
that requires a sermon
before I can eat
I can’t rejoice over no happy
that disturbs my astigmatism,
changing how I see myself
I can’t use no happy
that hurts to smile through
for us
for this we
I feared into existence

You can no longer sway me
with charismatic words
and open arms
I’m keeping my last 2 cents
You’d misplace ’em anyway

~Rahk

Ahh. The joys of collaborative expression. Who’s next?

#art-therapy, #gender-norms, #hard-conversations, #heart-break, #life, #love, #love-poems, #poetry, #raw, #relationships

Badu’s Son

A Badu song

Mothered my manhood

Told me

Boys can cry like yeyo

Told me

Boys, too, miss planes when dragging too many bags

Told me

God’s image is mine to claim as I am

Told me

Buildings crumble so why should one bear my name

Told me my name is a Black mother’s prayer

Answered in faith, with sound mind

Told me man’s strength is not greater than womb,

but born of it

in God’s time.

~Rahk

#black-art-matters, #black-stories, #erykah-badu, #faith, #love-poems, #manhood, #masculinity, #memories, #mothers, #poem, #poetry, #toxic-masculinity

“She’s Like Eve, One of Those Seeing Women…” (Excerpt from Copperhead)

Everyone in Eddenton, even the infants, knew not to offer anything more than a quick “Good morning” or an “Evenin, yall” to Armina Washington and Salve, short for Salvetta Fairmont. Even a sprite “Hello” could come back to you as The Tale of Two Snubs. It all depends on Armina. Armina, a proud entrepreneuress (a term she coined the day of her salon opening), is serious about her business despite its nominal appearance. And careful to keep her business a privileged enterprise while shamelessly selling your secret family recipe to anyone with the lucid dream of a restaurant. 

It’s been said, not to Armina’s face, of course, that the crows stay away from her properties; she has a few plots of land in the modest, but growing, town. They say the crows got tired of carrying all the trash Armina would tell them after luring them in with scraps. The scraps were likely provided by Salve, Armina’s hopeful wings. Lifting Armina up just so she can sip a cloud one of these old mornings seems to most to be her life’s work. Naturally, Salve took out a second mortgage on her inherited home to invest in Mina’s Nail Spa on Main. And just as naturally, she anticipates Armina’s Hot Topic of the Hour. 

“You know, they say, she’s like Eve, one of those Seeing Women. They say, when she was in her mama Bullie’s womb, that Bullie couldn’t eat nothing apple-like. No pears–” 

“No plums and no peaches either!” interrupts Salve. Armina, annoyed at the interruption, cloaks her frown in earnest sisterhood. 

“Mmmhmmm, that’s a sho’ nuff sign right there,” she coos. 

“Oh shut up, Armina,” said the woman whose hands Salve just refurbished with a flawless french tip. Biddy was a faithful customer, despite her disdain for needless gossip. “You’re  always seeing signs where anyone with good sense sees a rumor, and a fantastical one at that.” Biddy stood, saying, “Pregnancy affects every woman differently, no matter how much of the experience is the same. Every woman is different just like every child is different. Difference doesn’t warrant all this vain imagining.” She handed Armina her payment rather gracefully. Armina received it rather indignantly. 

“Oh, here she goes, Salve, with her professor tongue. Ain’t no lecture hall around here, Biddy. Save all that fancy talk for them white folk at that university that fired your All Knowin ass.” Armina said with all the glory of someone receiving the attention they never got as a child, or a teen, or a blossoming woman, or a wife. Biddy paused, keeping a steady gaze.

“Armina, you can bring up my hardships all you want. You can wave them around like bright banners of triumph and you can even make me feel a little low everytime you do it. But you can’t make the truth sting no less.” Stated Biddy matter-of-factly as she stepped, self-satisfied, out of the one bedroom home masquerading as a nail shop large enough for just five appointments at a time, and a “No Walk-ins” sign fastened to the door beneath the business number. 

As Biddy left the judgment of the nail shop she passed the peculiar young infant, now woman, at the root of such fanciful speculation. They locked eyes. Biddy smiled. She’d never noticed how stark the woman’s features were.  Her face was a multisyllabic word spoken by a loving God. Her skin glowed dark, like the moon and the sun aligned behind her back. Copperhead did not smile back, nor did she frown. Biddy suddenly felt naked, her heart pulsing as if an open door had found her exploring herself. Her feet matched her pulse and Copperhead entered the salon with a demeanor comparable to her namesake. Biddy was certain the ladies in the salon would have a few wounds to tend double what they caused her just moments ago. She smirked, reveling in the thought. Right then, Biddy wished she was one of those Seeing Women just this one time. She turned and reached toward the door to her gray 2013 Toyota Camry, her french tips invoking a smile.

#black-stories, #copperhead, #eve, #excerpt, #prose, #story-telling

Ask America if She Prays

Ask America if she prays
If she turns to Mecca or Medina
Or a dilapidated temple
Ask her if she bows her head
in silence while drinking Merlot
And munching Merita
Ask America if she battles jihad
If she moans like great grandmas
Or weeps like the son of gods
Or the scar of David

Ask her if she prays.
Then ask her 
If she lays prostrate on bloody ground
Or reclines on rickety pews—
They pierce your side if you don’t sit still
What is faith if not splintered?

Ask her if she wails at the Western Wall
If her knees have been bruised by absolution of sins
If her back bends to the will of her forefathers
Or hugs trees that smell like Trayvon Martin,
James Craig Anderson, Emmett Till,
Burmingham’s Four, Corporal John C. Jones,
Roger and Millie Kate Malcolm,
George and Mae Dorsey,
pregnant Mary Turner
and all other Persons Unknown

Ask America if she prays
For herself or for her enemies
For her future or for her past
Or does America trust in good deeds?

America must pray serenity
To change the things she dared not
And accept the things she had the audacity to do
And to never learn the difference

Ask her if she prays skyward
Or to a torrid tormented South,
to an idol or to a god
To a beautiful or a brave
We all just want to be free
Ask her. Ask America if she prays
And I bet she’ll tell you that prayer,
Just like hope, ain’t for everybody 

~Rahk.

Originally Published in the 2013 volume of the Coraddi

The Tale of Kaajah, The Puma

    You never hear her jump. You never hear her land either. You never hear her. You never hear her coming, a shadow of twilight with no voice. Men traveling near her lair feel intruded upon, like a spiders web in your belly instead of butterflies. That’s because they could sense her though she did not roar, or scream gutturally, or hiss. No. The men could feel her presence, though her eyes glinted in their lamp lights, they did not see her shine. She’s a fair predator, always giving warning. You can see your final destination in her eyes, if you let yourself meet her gaze. Be bold enough to stare a puma in the eyes. But they rarely do. They rarely stare her in the eyes but they knew she was there. Men, ever fond of legends, offered her a name: Kaajah.

    “Why don’t they ever look me in my eyes, mother? Why don’t they look me in my eyes?” asks Kaajah of this old tree that died long before it lived. Always stuck in one place, taking what the wind and rain decided to give it. The tree died but when woman dies she is still fertility to the land. Kaajah named the tree, Mother. Mother, the great tree who bears no more leaves yet nurtures a wild beast. Tames a puma.  Mother tamed a puma. She loved her. Kaajah knew it. Only Mother would carve a hole in herself big enough for Siberian tiger, but a mansion for a cub. Kaajah felt the rain, Mother’s crown whittled away long ago. She stood open to the sky. Kaajah, miserable at first, began to hear the rain’s language. She could interpret it’s tongue, though it came from the sky, the rain was native to earth, like Kahjah. She felt the rain.

    Mother allowed her to learn the language, ensured she learned the language. Though she could not roar, she could communicate. She could leap. She could jump high, almost 20 ft as an afterthought. Double that when excited. The only thing is, the higher she jumped, the lighter she became until she’d almost merge with the sky. And though she could relate to the rain, she knew she was native to earth. What kind of life would a puma have in the sky? No. She had to stay with Mother and listen to the rain tell it’s life story and leap whenever she felt like talking.

    Then a man thing spoke to her. Kaajah could not understand. She peered behind Mother’s root. Tail serpentine yet earnest. The man thing seemed different than the others, softer. More like a doe than a buck. Kaajah turned and sprinted away from the “Hey there…”. The soft man thing, the woman, stepped back in shock as the black puma, already remarkable, bunched hind muscles and was almost instantly transported to a sickly, yet sturdy branch in a tree with no crown; only a large cavern teeming with tiny life. Mother decided Kaajah should face her fear and the branch holding her began to protest and as Kaajah tried to defy her mother’s lesson, she only assured it by shifting her weight. The woman ran away a few yards as Kaajah recovered almost as soon as she crashed by the same root she’d fled from. It began to rain. Kaajah accepted the comforting words offered by the downpour and leapt as high as she could to say thank you. She catapulted past the living tree tops, she could see down into a valley she’d never know before, and still she ascended. The rain met her ascension and welcomed her and this time Kaajah did not fear her mass lessening. She did not regret her nation, she was still of Earth, but the sky now claimed its relation. The young woman witnessing this knew she must have lost her mind. The puma, the cat, just jumped as high as a flea could were it much larger. She had to tell someone all she saw though she knew they’d think she was playing them for fools…or high.

    “And then…the most erroneous, yet magnificent thing happened, mama! The cat, the puma, she was black and she jumped in the sky. I know, I know I said this. But she jumped and suddenly the rain and the puma—Mama, something extraordinary happened!” breathed the young woman rapidly.

    “What happened?  Baby, get it out. You done scared me half to death already talking ‘bout such a dangerous creature being around us anyway,” said the young woman’s mother as she stirred her favorite stew.    

    “Well, ma…all hell,” the young woman sputtered.

    “Alright, now!” cautioned her mother.

    “I know, I know. I’m sorry for cussin’, mama. You’re not going to believe me, but I’m just going to read you what I saw when that black puma and the rain met way up there in the sky. It- it was like…like the puma became ink in the sky,” she paused remembering, then gathered herself at her mother’s impatient noises. Sighing, she prepared to read her account to her mother. “Okay, okay, ma. Here goes:

            I’ve never been able to speak
                but I understood language.
                Conversations with the rain taught me I am native to earth
                     but I can fly
                  I can jump         I can leap so high
                     I can’t speak but I
                    can sky.
                    I can ant if I dream.
                 Catepillar into wings.
                 I can sunrise at twilight
                     Ball-gas that I am
                           Black and lonely and silenced.
                 Soul bright like midnight
         was meant to be before humanity   decided to be God and create more light.
                  We had enough light,                                 we had enough light
            I was born black because we need more night
                 I was born black, giving life to midnight
                and I can jump so high
                     Hurl my black self ‘cross the sky
                and finally tell the rain
                         in a crack of black lightning
             how it feels to understand, but not speak.
             God is here.                 God is here.
                   That’s the name Mother did speak.
                    Thank you rain for your wisdom.
              Saith rain: The sky is composed of the language you seek.

And that’s what I saw mama. I swear that’s what I saw in the sky when that black puma jumped so high she met the rain.”

#black-art-matters, #black-stories, #fantasy, #fiction, #kaajah, #prose, #puma, #short-story, #story-time

Black Poet’s Sermon

I preach
Floetry’s gospel
Administering poetry
I preach
Black Voice
Kendrick flows
“We alright”
I promise
We alright
We just speak dialect differently
Cast words
like griots

We too familiar
with feelings
Language bends to our pulse
And we preach
I preach
I preach
Saul’s doctrine
How ‘She’ square roots men-
Solving problems
on pages
Calculating thoughts-
Making simple equations of
miscommunication

I’m just one successor
Not the first
Not the last
I may walk in shadowy valleys
But my words
are a Rapture
Embodying Revelations
and Maya reclaimed her wings
For us
To fly before we die
To live our “Amens” outloud
in these sermons-
Classically
defined by the kinks
In our dialect

I speak
I speak
We speak
Folk just ain’t been listening
Too busy sippin’
On centuries old wine
We spit     it out
Prefer our spirits fresh
from the vine
Somewhere between ’74 and ‘89
But you keep drinkin’ the “good stuff”
We’ll keep turning
We’ll keep turning
Parables into wine
Or something far less conservative
Yet much more pleasing to the palate  
Take this poem
This bread for your mind
Our flow is the body
Our honest words
Well, that’s newer wine

~Rahk.

#art-therapy, #black-art-matters, #black-stories, #english, #maya-angelou, #poem, #poetry, #raw

Holding On

Absentmindedly, I clenched thoughts of you in my fist– forgetting the point until I bled.

I hid the wounds, but not well. They were palm-sized riverbeds, overflowing.

I did not intend to bathe you in blood. Nor did you mean to break the skin between us.

~Rahk.

#hard-conversations, #letting-go, #love-poems, #poem, #poetry

The Blood of Babel (Revised)

If we discarded egos
as quickly as we discard people
We might be able to build that tower to God

Inaugurate this address
This petition of just cause
This foremost amendment
that predates the deadbeat dads
who hated us as much
as they lusted after our
mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s curves

Still, we rise above poverty lines
police stations and prison cells
and projects and culdesacs
and estates and dorms
and factories and sawmills
and diners and churches

We faithfully await more than a night
of living slaves, leaving severed hands
in their shackles.
You will know that a reckoning is afoot.
And there will be no hooves pounding
Wall Street warning of invasion
We are already here

We Malcolms and Kendricks
We Jasons and Patrisses
and Alicias and Opals

We Derays and Olivias and
Kamalas and Sandras and Shondas
and Baracks and W.E.B.s

We will never be moved
and our discarded egos
will staircase our tower to God.
Not our brown bullet-laden bodies
Not our blood striping the American flag
We are children of Babel.
We will no longer let deceitful tongues divide us,
Rather we unite with forehead kisses
Kisses lacking the viscous spit of betrayal
We will be redeemed as we weep in the clay
that formed us, we will construct visions
rather than undervalued dreams
Our name is America for we have been,
and will always be, the brave.

~Rahk

#america, #babel, #black-lives-matter, #egos, #grief, #history, #poem, #poetry, #spoken-words

Choose Again (Excerpt from Hard Conversations: A Collection of Love Poems)

It’s possible that I found God
on a lonely road to damnation
where my GPS guided me with
words of discouragement

If only I were David instead of Jonathan
If only my love was inherited
instead of ordained
If only my psalms were sanctioned
by chosen men and recited in times of turmoil
rather than demonized

It’s possible, that I walked by God
on that lonely road to damnation
Likely, that I didn’t even see God’s hand
My eyes weighing my feet
with each laborious step toward hell

I felt a hand on my shoulder
I heard a voice telling me to turn right
I smelled a burning bush
but I did not feel worthy
to remove my shoes
I could not stand bare
on holy ground
or so I’d been preached

I kept walking on that desolate road
I kept looking down in resignation
I kept overlooking God
so busy focusing on my steps

My feet too sore to continue
My legs quivered with the strain of the cross
nailed to my mannerisms
My eyes, forty days and nights of storm
My prayers, overtaken by thunder
or so I assumed

My God, a hand to anchor my soul
My God, an arm across my shoulder
My God, a chest on which to weep
My God, a finger lifting my countenance
My God, a rainbow of liberty
on the road to internal damnation
Urging, urging me to turn back

Turn back for once
Back toward Me
Turn back, and run.
Your steps are now redemption
Your tears are now baptism in My Name
Your eyes are watching Me
This is the path that they have given you
It’s the path they taught you to choose
Choose again
This is the path that they have given you
It’s the one they taught you to choose
Choose again

~Rahk.

#black-stories, #christianity, #church, #god, #hard-conversations, #homosexuality, #lgbtqa, #love-poems, #poetry

To The Karens

It’s like your family stood
Just a few feet away
Camera rolling
As your neighbor smirked
When his foot cracked
Benji’s ribs

It’s like you filmed your neighbor
drawing his gun
as you scream for him to “Stop!”
Crying, “Don’t do it, sir, don’t do it!”
Benji’s a good dog!”

It’s like your neighbor
Placed his knee on Benji’s neck
Smirking all the while
As the breath left Benji’s body

It’s like you pressed charges
and your neighbor’s sentence was a paid vacation
It’s like you pressed charges
and his punishment was a charity raised
It’s like you protested outside his door
And the president sent the military to his aid
It’s like your Benji, your dog, wasn’t family

But it’s not like that at all if that neighbor is Black
And you call 911 to complain about the laughter and music
Blessing your neighborhood at 6pm
Rather than letting it slide
Like your neighbor did for your family BBQ just last week

And after the call you carry on
Until the gunshots sound
And you peak through the blinds
Blue lights flashing
And you see your neighbors son on the ground
Legal bullets in his chest
Because he startled the officer
Dispatch sent at your request

~Rahk

#america, #art-therapy, #black-lives-matter, #black-stories, #hard-conversations, #mourning, #poem, #stop-killing-us

You can break rock

It crumbles soon enough
or slowly sinks back
to the earth

It is hard
but not indestructible

I will never be rock
I am indestructible
but not hard

I should probably
see a doctor about this

~Rahk

#masculinity, #poem, #poetry, #rock, #toxic-masculinity

Gossip Folk (Excerpt from Copperhead)

No one ever suggested disease or a curse as the reason for her abnormality, not outside roomed conversations anyway. Rather, we simply accepted her peculiarities as environmental. Her baldness, as well as her disregard for public decency, to us, became, or perhaps always was, the first leaf to change its color. Autumn always comes, the first leaf always turns, it’s just the way things are– but sometimes, sometimes you remark on it absentmindedly.

“Wessa, look at her–  just traipsin’ around here with her titties all out as if she was born with a bat between her legs. She ain’t no man, she needs to cover up.” Plural complained, leaning on the brand new wood fence surrounding her partial acre of land.

“Aw, she ain’t hurtin’ nobody. My boy, Rascal, got a bigger bust than her. She’s one of those paranoid schizos anyway. Notice how she always looks up at the sun and smiles? She probably thinks the aliens are gonna emerge from one of its rays and take her back to the mothership.” Wessa laughed erratically on the other side of the fence.

“Yeah, well, I don’t care if she is one of them crazies,” Plural stated flatly, “Somebody needs to tell her that civilized folk wear shirts.”

“Ha! Civilized folk! That’s a good one,” Wessa blurted, adjusting her stance and regretting the heels she’d thrown on to check the mail. “You can look in her strange eyes and tell that civilization passed her by. I wonder what Bullie thinks about her daughter flashin’ God and the whole neighborhood all the time.”

“Well, I heard Bullie is a minister at Hand Of God, now. That’s Elder Bullie to us common sinner-folk, I suppose.”

“Wait a minute. Wait one minute. You mean to tell me that Bishop allowed her to take the oath?” Wessa’s surprise added a few dry logs to Plural’s hearth for gossip.

“He sho’ did. Rascal went to Sunday School and stayed past Breakfast Meeting and seen her in the pulpit with her pants suit, her gold prayer cloth, and the Bible to match right behind Bishop.” Plural’s oak brown eyes all but glowed as she shared her hearsay.

“Well, I’ll be a weed whacker in the jungle. Sho’ nuff?” exclaimed Plural’s neighbor, Laz Deacon– Deacon Laz to everyone in Eddenton, though he hadn’t set foot in a church since his christening. Wessa rolled her eyes as he leaned across the fence toward Plural.

“Sho’ nuff. Rascal might be mean as a red furred bull but he ain’t never carried a lie past Sunday.” Plural confirmed, gesturing for Laz to get off of her fence. He just smiled at her motions as if she were a silly toddler.

“So that woman up there preachin’ while her daughter runnin’ round topless as a good stripper? I knew somethin’ won’t right about that church. Bishop Reverend hasn’t been the hand of God since his son was caught playin house with that minister of music they used to have.” Laz remarked. He then leaned off Plural’s fence, winked at her, and continued his journey to the end of the path where the mailboxes lived.

“Minister of music, huh? More like minister of house music. Ain’t that what they play at them sissy bars?” Replied Wessa, a little too desperately. She hated being the third wheel in the gossip. It paid off, though.

“Girrrl,” Plural drawled, “you would tell God He shoulda made Eve from Adam’s eye socket so Eve woulda had enough sense to see the devil talkin’ to her.”

“Plural, I sho’ would. You know I can’t hold my tongue with the right hand of God,” boasted Wessa.

“Look at her, Wessa. Look at her. She comin’ outta that store with nothing but a can of soda. I swear she don’t eat. That’s why she’s built like a stick bug.” Plural motioned with her head to the young woman in question.

“Woooo, Plural, you can’t hold your tongue either, can you? And you talkin’ about me. Be careful what flies out your mouth when you stand before God on Judgment Day. He might put the drop on you, too.” Wessa finished, now eying Copperhead’s slow, but steady, stride in their direction.

“Girl, hush. We’ll drop together, then, and tell Satan a thing or two about sweet talkin’ Paradise.”

That caught Wessa’s attention. “Sweet talkin’ Paradise,” she repeated, “what in the world is that?”

“I guess you ain’t never heard that before, huh? My granddaddy used to say that all throughout my childhood. I’d say, ‘Grampy, ol’ Gregory Hanes told me I was black as the spit of a mamba snake.’ And he’d say, ‘Oh yeah? Well that Gregory just tryin’ to sweet talk Paradise’ then he’d go sit on the porch and smoke.” Plural’s words were all for Wessa, but her eyes belonged to the woman approaching, sipping a soda, staring off into the morning sun.

“Mmm. Mr. Dixon was a thoughtful fella. I’m sure it means something to somebody who’s been to Paradise–“

“Wessa! Wessa! Look! Copperhead is comin’,” Plural urgently whispered, no longer leaning on her fence. “I’m going to go ahead and prepare dinner before it gets too late. Biscuit acts like a 12 hour day warrants him eatin’ twelve pounds of food. At least he does work, otherwise I wouldn’t feed his ass.” Wessa opened the gate just as Copperhead came within hearing distance and said, “Ain’t nothing in that mailbox anyway but final notices. I’m going to come in and help you until that snake slithers back into the grass. ” Copperhead continued staring at the sun as the two ladies stared at her through the blinds of Plural’s kitchen.

#black-stories, #copperhead, #excerpt, #fiction, #gossip-folk, #prose, #stories, #story-telling

On The Day That Marriage Was Honored Equally (From “Hard Conversations: Love Loems)

On the day that marriage was honored equally
I got into a bit of a debate with
A young minister
About the context of things
About how it would make sense
To know what a forest is before you decide you can see through it

Context was revealed
But I’m sure he only saw through it
Trees compose a forest just like people compose a marriage
And weddings are forests in autumnal garb
Brilliantly reflecting sunlight as newness fades

And people thrive in the context of love
No matter the clothes they put on
Or the measure of their melanin
Or the fault in their constellations

We are and have always been zodiacs.
Dusted destinies and big bangs
We are and have alway been celestial bodies that will die long before our light fades

From forests riddled by winter

From forests lacking petty concerns like

people sleeping together

night after night

We are both trees my brother,

But I would never vote to prevent your forest
So long as it grows and nurtures

I see your forest, my brother
I see your forest
Yet, you begrudge me mine

#art-therapy, #black-stories, #christianity, #church, #divorce, #god, #hard-conversations, #homosexuality, #lgbtqa, #marriage, #poem, #poetry

Closed Letter to Racists

Because you are human, I greet you.

But because you are racist, I do not greet you dearly.

Because you are racist, I cannot appeal to your sense of morality.

You have spat upon the flag of freedom. You have denied the pursuit of happiness. You are no patriot.

Having tainted history, both past and living, with the bile of your existence in a world that was never your own.

You do not seek to reconcile. You do not seek to understand. You hold on to the hoods that hide you from yourself.

You are no godsend. You are not divine. But you are a spook, preferring to possess people rather than truth.

Oh racist, no patriot holds you dear. But how can we when you are ashamed to show your confederate face?

Remove your hood.

What do you have to fear, don’t you claim a god is on your side? Don’t you have righteousness burning crosses inside you? Remove your hood.

A born American would.

#art-therapy, #black-lives-matter, #christianity, #hard-conversations, #history, #hope, #literature, #poem, #poetry, #stop-killing-us