Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My Sisters Keeper…

We were much younger back then
More than sisters
We made others envy us
Rooted relationship in trust
Our bond was epic
Swore we’d never let it
Never fail
Our love was boundless
And it shone in the way we treated each other
Pacted to never ever leave each other
…and we meant it
Still to this day I pray and thank God for you
Think of countless moments I couldn’t have survived without you

Truth is that you helped raise me
She birthed me but you made me
And while she was out busting her ass to support her seed
You stayed at home and helped nurture my dreams
You’re a prominent force in my existence
You believed in me when others doubted my vision
And even in moments when she broke my spirit
You strengthened my back bone and convinced me that life was worth living

Somewhere, sometime, at some point you started expecting too much from me
To keep giving and giving
And have nothing left for me
Too high on your pedestal to look down at your own humility
But I’m not superwoman
I’m just the human me
You’ll call me selfish because of it
But hurt filled generations are a product of what happens when we expect too much from kids

Always at the back of the line,
I had to stay ten steps ahead just to keep up
Expected by everyone to act grown up
But people still somehow forgot
That I was a full grown baby
I didn’t experience life through your skin
Can never see it through your eyes
And I know I’m not perfect
But dear God I try
To be everything to everyone all of the time

But how can I be my sisters’ keeper
When it’s hurting me more
To stay and do the work than to walk out the door
Count it as a loss
Instead of doing my part
To strengthen a relationship that’s fallen apart
I’ll hold onto this but at what cost?
My self esteem, my soul, my spirit, my heart?

Why shouldn’t I get to keep something for myself?
Where is it written in The Book that to get to heaven
You have to go through hell
There’s no room for me here.
This space is consumed by your ego
And I’m so over all the arguing
All that does is feed you.
Validate your dramatic interpretation of reality
And further dig myself into this hole
While the whole time you’re here hurting me…

I expected so much more from you
Than to expect the worst from a soul who has already given her whole
…then still gave more too
I thought we were in this together
Instead abusive words are my return for the storm that I’ve weathered

Look at how far we’ve come to nothingness
25 years later and there’s no trusting left
Just fake smiles, forced calls and loneliness
Hurts cuz I think more than anyone else, we owe this to US

Who’s gonna hold us down the only way we can do?
It’s like you forgot all of the times I surrendered my seam for you
Inside out and wide open
I went to the extreme for you
All I wanted was to make you proud
And mirror the same thing that you would do

…but now I’m at a loss
Time gone
And we’ve lost ourselves
We pay the price for goodbyes
Look at all we cost ourselves
Empty pockets
No loose change to pay my way
But I’m tryna get my money up
So I can buy us both a pass someday

Until we reconcile and love redeems itself
I’ll be praying for simpler solutions to how things were dealt
So that next time (if there’s a next time)

We’ll have help from God
That way maybe...just maybe being my sister’s keeper won’t be so hard…

Monday, June 14, 2010

Married to the System

It’s been 365 days exact…that’s 8,760 hours we can never get back. Hard to imagine the world still in tact, when mine hasn’t been the same since learning the fact that you’ve been stolen from me by street life, drug sales and steel bars. Blinded by the glamour of platinum ice, cash flow and nice cars. You traded in our love for drug sales; and in turn sold that for time in jail. Two years was the sentence. When will our dear America learn that handcuffs don’t teach lessons? Especially when you’ve been taught your whole life that you’re worth less than. YOU try and provide for your family when there’s no food and rent is due and the only one of the kids old enough to work is you. What does dear old America expect us to do when minimum wage equals less than livable too?

I hadn’t kissed you for so long that it felt wrong the first time that I saw you again. The system creates distance way longer than miles can bend. Makes criminals out of daddies and defendants out of friends, homicide victims out of loved ones and gives us our men just as lent. Cuz most know they’ll never see 18 before having their dreams ripped at the seams. To hide the holes in a life handed, never chose, they pin RIP buttons for each one as they go.

Don’t you understand? There aint no American dream! We’ve been locked up where cracked liberty bells outweigh our dreams. Our community is knocked up and poverty only breeds desperation. So our babies grow up learning that there are quicker ways to get paid than with a pay check. It’s not hard to see who got power in this country: white men with money…so that’s who we aspire to be. Cuz we grow up not having presidents who look like me. They tell us have dreams but we lack opportunity…but they aint got nothing to say for it. So we live our lives poor and have to pay for it.

Handcuffs and barbed wire
We live our lives imprisoned
And they say we have a choice but this is how we living!

Til the day I get to hold your hand, touch your face and feel your heart against mine.
We’ll remain victims to the system
Just flirting with possibilities but married to time.

asking too much

mean what u say
say what u mean
dont sell me a dream
less than what's fit for a queen
so when i awake on my throne
sure to have missed the scene
i wont question my spirit
and know what to believe...

dont discredit my heart
or undermine my faith
with purpose and love
i'll erase this page
and move onto a new chapter
that i've yet to create
with hopes of new beginnings
more worthy of fate...

prematurely u arrive
too late u depart
no time to rewind
back to the start
but assured am i
if ever i thought
away with u, u'll take my heart...

so farewell sweet dreams
now only memories
of what could be
if u respected me
but the truth too late
and the heart too dry
it now beats of false hopes
and countless goodbyes...

this one the last
i'll let go of the past
and never again ask
too much of a man


March 2, 2006

If I could float on my dreams like clouds,
I would disappear to a place in the distance, way up there
Where days don’t begin without sunlight and nights don’t end without resolution
If I could, I would fly away and pack all of my problems into one day
Then erase that day off of the calendar
Like the 30th of February
If I could, Id marry destiny and convince him to fly away with me
To that place in the sky
Where dreams exist
And the world would thank me because of this
If I could…

She abandoned me....15 years, 10 days, 16 hours and 25 minutes ago, she abandoned me. I daydream of days where I don’t feel locked away by cages, raping me of my humanity…how could she abandon me? It’s gonna take some time they said. It’s gonna take some time to forget her. But how could I forget the woman who breathed life into my soul, made me whole like knowledge makes the mind? But I allowed myself to believe that in time, she’d come back. If I just kept holding on, like songs that drag on for too long. And the truth is that I’m angry. How could she abandon me?! How could she be witness to eyes that she once prized? Dark skin, small waist, big ass, thick thighs...just like mommy’s. And she lied when she said I was her everything, heard birds sing when she was around me. Couldn’t breathe, couldn’t be, couldn’t live without me. Said everything she did would be about me. But then she gave up way too soon and sought another route without me. “Its not your fault,” she said; as she held the shot gun to her head, one shot to her brain, and now mommy is dead. I was only six and saw life flash before me way too quick. She couldn’t cope with nowhere to go. She was a drug addict, addicted to dope. So she died at 22, what a tragedy…and left me here to carry the burden of the world. How could she abandon me?


Locked up and caged
Inflicted with rage
Restricted to hate
Cuffed and detained
Prison is NOT where they’ll remain

Tattooed and engraved
Our self worth has been maimed
Let down and slain,
The system warrants this pain
With the assurance it’ll happen again

Ripped from families
We amount to less without them
Cuz the digits aren’t adding up
But it’s not just about them
It’s about babies that grow up parentless
And parents that lose their kids
…to the system
And we’ve lost far more than just a little bit
Caught we’re in a war with time and we’re losing it
Mostly we’re not choosing it
System imposed, we learn the ropes and stay accused of it

So tell me, who’s to blame?
When no one will claim ownership of locking young ones away
Probation and parole
Court dates and group homes
Judges and police
Why do we get our kids on loan
When others have theirs to keep?

We want our babies back!
Plain and simple…
We won’t conform to a system that breaks bread off the backs of those most vulnerable
Restore and rehabilitate reentry and reiterate
Our young ones aren’t for you to take
And we’ll fight for them if it’s the last move we make
Because jail does not teach lessons
And neither does detention
Or Confinement
Or Prison
Or whatever else you wanna call the system that steals our children
From school to juvie to the state penitentiary
We’re setting limitations on our future by teaching children how not to dream

We have not forgot them
Though they stay locked up and caged in
Inflicted with raging
Restricted to hating
Cuffed and detained in…

…is NOT where they’ll remain

We’ll keep trying and keep fighting
And we’ll keep riding for their lives

Our kids have been STOLEN from us. They are a lot more than just STATISTICS and NUMBERS but in order to for the system to claim ACCOUNTABILITY, we must restore JUSTICE in our communities. Babies, you are not FORGOTTEN. We will never forget you to PRISON.

Apology to Writing

I’ve forgotten how you feel
Your touch
The way it envelopes me when no one else has the strength…or the courage to hold me
Long enough to let the tears soak in your clothing
Holding me even through the anger
The denial
The unwillingness to believe that this right here…
Might be all that life has to offer
And why bother faking it or wasting it on paper
I could just scream the words out loud
Enough for only you to hear and you would listen attentively
Every word holding meaning
Never belittling even the most minor thought
Because you know more than anyone how much I meant it
Never too dramatic
Merely an exaggeration to say the least
And while others label me a fanatic
You allowed me to hold onto you so tight that when I let go my hands would be the color of your skin
Set deep within my pores
YOU became a part of me
Never telling me not to over think things
Or over analyze situations
In fact quite the opposite
You allowed me to process with patience
You taught me to pull apart every layer of meaning
And allowed me to be myself
In every emotion I was feeling

At whatever cost you came
I didn’t have to say your name for you to notice me
Didn’t have to beg you for affirmation
I knew that we shared the same thoughts, ideas, feelings, realness
And if at anytime I questioned it,
I could peel back your cover and discover that your insides were my insides
Running deep and spilling over
Shared secrets like a lover
You found the depths of me
The absolute darkest places that I tried hard to erase but only managed to push deeper into my being

If we don’t set them free, we become our secrets
We become those parts of ourselves that we’re afraid for the world to know
When we push them down into fertile soil, they grow
Begin to show above the surface
Forgetting our purpose
We become those sad places
Those hurt places
Those silent places that long to be acknowledged and loved just like all the other parts of us

Instead of keeping me stuck in those places
You gave me a space to share my story
My yearning to be understood got transferred through lines and rhymes
Into the right to be heard
I could never have found myself without finding you
My passion
My zeal
Reminding me that feeling can feel good
My solace
My treasure
Thank you for how you deliver me
And make me feel better about feeling
Forgetting you has been like treason
No more writers block
No more wasted ticks on tock
No more hiding
No, no more fighting
I’m sorry
Is my apology to writing

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fallen Soldiers

I can see your pain
And the way hate breeds through action and stains the ways we treat each other
Planting seeds in our self worth
Becoming the fruit we feed each other

We carry these ideas with pride
Now with hatred in our eyes
We beat each other
Kill each other
Hurt each other

I can feel you hurting
It seeps in through your pores and leaves u wanting more
But u feel deserted

What are we living for when the world has taught us we aint nothing
Aint got nothing
Aint never gonna be nothing
So why bother?

Money can’t buy life and so we barter
An eye for an eye
So now we’re invisible
Too many thugs, drug dealers, murderers and criminals
We don’t have names
First we were numbers
then we were niggers
now we’re tomb stones on graves

And I know it aint right
Cuz our babies are dying!

I can’t fit another RIP pin on this life vest
We were all born soldiers
But we keep losing our best

So I pay my condolences, and say a prayer
Explain to children of children why daddy can’t be here
to watch you grow
Teach you all the things he never got the chance to know

Scared of our own greatness, we lay low
Stop reaching for the stars
Cuz they aren’t ours to own

And this right here aint no poem
It isn’t another sad description of the prison we’re restricted to
It’s a cry for help cuz I’m just like you
And it scares me to know my children might be too
Bound by internalized hatred
God gave us Immaculate Conception and so we raped it
Now impregnated by oppression, we raise it
Fall victim to institutions instead of fighting to change it
Waging war against each other instead of those who create it

We’re worth more but expect less
We were all born soldiers
But we keep losing our best


Black Listed

They keep us Black listed
Young, Black and Gifted
They say the good die young
Well it’s not a coincidence
This aint based on no conspiracy theory
This is based on the rates of how many young people we’ve buried
And how many we’ve lost to the system
That goggles them up and then forgets them

They got it all planned out
In order to stay up, they gotta keep us down
In order to profit there has to be loss
And in order to sell, there has to be a cost

There’s no cure to the pain caused by loss with nothing to gain

So it comes as no surprise
When we believe their lies
We become numb to goodbyes
Cuz we’ve seen so many lives get lost to the tide

The sun don’t rise
On mother’s cries
When they watch their babies die

We’ve been Black Listed
Born into a country that sells guns to our children
System bound
Strategically, they hold us down
No work to get chosen
If you’re born with brown skin
Your chains are not broken

They’ll tokenize and affirm you
Change the face of racism to hold you
In the belief that we’ll teach to our children
That we are free and that slavery doesn’t still exist through prisons
And that Obama means the abolition of oppression

Listen close and learn your lessons
The revolution is approaching and you will be tested
Learn their language
And know how to answer every question
There is no guessing
One wrong move can mean we all lose

We’ve been Black Listed
Born into a country that sells guns to our children
System bound
Strategically, they hold us down
No work to get chosen
If you’re born with brown skin
Your chains are not broken


A Father’s Love

I brought you these gifts
After all, they did start out as yours
A heart that has grown cold
Broken promises wrapped in gold
Just as they were told
And tears, 25 years old

Maybe I was too young
Or just too dumb to fully understand the significance of your absence
I knew it felt like loneliness
Like abandonment
Like the pieces of my heart that I had been missing weren’t worth filling with anyone but you
…and I was right.

Twenty five years later, nothing’s changed
I’m still the same
…Daddy’s little girl you left behind
Even time couldn’t tame this desire
This yearn for you

Love only leaves me loveless
Like an empty cup filled with air
The cup is still empty
And the vacancy’s still there.

There are plenty of guys who would love to make me theirs
But I don’t want them
I cling longingly to those who would rather hurt me than love me
Who’d rather fuck her than fuck me
I search for all of the men who are just like my daddy

Don’t you know I cried for you?!
It hurt bad!
I still cry at the remembrance of a six year old CHILD who couldn’t understand why daddy wouldn’t stay
Was never there to wipe away tears
Or chase away fears
Calm bad dreams
Or hear loud screams

Daddy, you were never there to protect me and I hated you for it
For so long that hate bred solitude
And now I live alone in my despair

Who cares, right?
There’s plenty of little girls that grow up daddy-less
Plenty of single moms who have to work 2-3 jobs in order to put clothes on their kid’s backs
Plenty of strong, Black women who have to make up for where men lack

But not me…
I was supposed to be different
I was daddy’s little girl
And nothing else in the world mattered because at the end of the day, I knew that my daddy loved me

But I was wrong
As wrong then as I am now
And nothing can ever change this pain that lives inside of me
It won’t go away
It dictates how I love him
How I long for his love more than life
Need to make him fight for me, want me, promise me he’ll never leave me
…and when he does
Just because I can, I’ll blame it all on daddy.

I’m tired of blaming myself
I’m not pretty enough
Thick enough
Smart enough
Too dark
Too depressed


YOU made me this way
Made me feel worthless
Like I wasn’t worth the stay
Worth the fight
And I’ll be alright
I’m sure

But just one more gift before you go
Here, you can take the guilt
I don’t want it anymore.

Happy Valentine’s Day Daddy


First to go are the clothes
Exposing rough skin
Dry and swollen
Bruised and calloused
Dried blood on the surface

Skin peels back to rotting flesh
There’s no blood in this body

Cut through flesh
Find heart
Not beating
Not dreaming
Not believing
Lungs breathless
No air
No deliverance
Still searching
Still desiring
Still hopeful

Pick through the rubble
Find hollow bones

Autopsy report reads…
Reason for death: LOVELESS. No further information is available....