You’ve Been On My Mind

You’ve been on my mind
One word
One song
Your name
My skin still remembers the imprint of your fingertips
The heat of your lips
I still remember your smile
And that it was only for me
These days I’m drowning my sorrows
But I can’t drown the sin of you
These days I’m craving pain and heartache
But no one hurts me like you
You’ve been on my mind
But you’ve got whiskey in your lungs
And a devil in your bed
You’ve got faded memories of me
Broken promises
And empty hearted smiles
You’ve got a house full of relics
And plenty of reasons to forget
But please don’t forget me
I’d be better off dead

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No One Knows Me

No one knows me like the razor blade
Like blood stains on sleeves
Like a trail of scars on brown skin hidden by hoodies in July
Or worn proudly like faded medals from wartime
No one knows me like ink stains on my fingertips
Like longing
Like regret
No one know knows me like numbness where there should be pain
And pain where there should be life

How To Befriend a Brown Girl: Part 2

On things not to say:
“I wish my skin was a dark as yours.”
“I wish I could tan so easily.”
“You’re such a pretty color.”
“What are you? Like what are you mixed with? It’s so pretty.”
“I totally want to have mixed babies. They’re the cutest.”
Inhale. Exhale.
My brown skin is not a fashion statement.
It’s not a fad.
Why do you keep applying beauty only to aspects of my being
Like why is only my hair pretty
Or just my skin is pretty
Or just my lips are pretty
But I’m not just pretty?
Why am I only pretty because I’m mixed with something else?
Your willingness to procreate with a person of color does not get you invited to the barbecue
We are not accessories.
Brown babies are not accessories.
BROWN BABIES ARE NOT ACCESSORIES.
You can have brown friends, brown babies, good intentions and still be part of the problem
I can’t peel my skin from my body and change into something less brown
Something more comfortable
I can’t alter my soul and suppress my culture
I can’t shed my skin like a coat
So stop treating the color of my skin like some trend
I AM NOT A STATEMENT
I am not your ally card
I am more than your token
I am not en vogue
Loving myself isn’t avant garde
It should not be an act of war
But I will fight that battle
In hopes that one day there will be no war

How To Befriend a Brown Girl: Part 1

(working title)

On Hair:
  1. Don’t ask to touch my hair as you’re touching my hair.
  2. Don’t touch my hair.
  3. Don’t ask to touch my hair.
  4. Don’t ask if my hair is real.
  5. Don’t ask how I get my hair to look so pretty.
  6. Don’t ask what I’m mixed with because my hair is so pretty.
  7. Don’t tell me you wish you could have hair like mine.
  8. Don’t.
Your fingers in my hair without my consent or expressed permission
Is like a statement that black bodies are akin to amusement parks
That America’s history of disregarding black bodies is lost on you and will continue to be so
Chains. Whips. Water hoses. Dogs. Eurocentric ideas of beauty and now your fingers in my damn hair.
Our bodies have never been ours.
They have only been whatever you choose to make of them.
They have never merited kindness and care.
A stranger putting their hands on you without your consent
Is assault
Except when it comes to black hair and black bodies
I’m only beautiful when you’re around to see it
I’m only pretty when you’re around to tell me
Even my love for myself and my blackness is offensive to you
I can only love myself in ways that you approve.
In secret and in whispers
Because black girls are too rowdy
We’re too angry
We’re a handful
We’re too much
Too much
And not enough
I am not enough for you to view my body as my sanctuary
My hair as my glory
Not enough to prevent you from violating sacred ground
To claim for your amusement.
I am too much
And not enough
Not enough to keep your fingers out of my damn hair.

Does She Know?

Does she know
That the hands she holds possessively
Were once wrapped tightly around this throat
Tangled in ebony waves
Grasping bed sheets
While that mouth she kisses tenderly
Set flame to brown flesh
Whispered exclamations of need into sensitive ears and
Pleaded for all I could give?

Does she know
That your body does not belong only to her
That I detonated the desire in your core before she even knew your name?

Does she know
That these lips had you spent and gasping my name
Only to be devoured by you
With your taste still upon my tongue?

Does she know
You like the way you taste on my lips
On my skin?

Does she hope
To eradicate every thought of me
Every memory
Every touch
sigh
moan
and gasp?

Does she hope
To be enough to make you forget me
To take my place?

She may have usurped my throne temporarily
But, baby, you can’t forget me
And pretending won’t remove my crown. 

Suicide Note: Another Rough Draft

Here I am again
Writing a letter I’ll never send
And likely never finish
Attempting to justify that which we do not name
I am unraveling
S l o w l y
I am coming apart
I have seen better days than these
But I am unimpressed
I’m holding out for a new tomorrow
A better day
But life ain’t been no crystal stair
And better days don’t exist in this place
And tap tap goes the blood drop
On the pretty bathroom floor
Tick-tock goes the clock, as feet dangle from the door
And my brain says, “Do it.”
“You’d be happier dead.”
“Doesn’t that blade look so pretty covered in red?
And doesn’t it feel so good to close your eyes
Knowing you won’t have to wake up to say goodbye?”
But I delay
I postpone
I keep looking to tomorrow
The promise of tomorrow
I just need to make it through today