Sing Praises

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My Father the Teacher

My Dad taught me how to ride a bike
he took us to the park to fly kites
he took us on walks
he worked the night shift to feed us
he was there in my life

My Dad was also an angry man
as Black men living in America must be
because anger at injustice should be expected
but he also did what angry Black men do
he went to church even though he despised it
but even as he hated church
he still took us to church
he was there in my life

My Dad at 79 continues to teach me
even as i now teach him feminism and texting
even as we teach each other forgiveness
even as he continues to teach me
about the history of Black men in America
just as he taught me Black History as a child
he is here in my life.

Letting Go

took me seven years
letting go of three I loved
another three years healing
my forties were fortunate
many moments of sorrow and silence
many nights drowned in fado
fado the river of music from tears
grief and wails pushing my raft downstream
without numbing myself or hiding
and by hiding i mean the usual suspects
we are told are helpful
but not even close
go find some fuckables to dick and dump
go find a husband or wife and breed
i chose to marry my very toxic love
my work
silent third suspect it is
until i finally learned
work is not warm enough to love you back
work is work
work is not love
work is what you do for others
but not your lover or spouse
and so i am free and unbonded
gave myself time to grow
seeking and finding meaning in me
letting go let me listen and wait
for the right one to share fate.

Dream Catching

lucid streams flowing
watching people
walk through rooms
this is a familiar house
faces you know to be
someone else’s family
in dreams you visit
those you know think of you
as thoughts are doorways
in dreams you hear the call
to heal your people
to give comfort to the distressed
dreams that feel so real
you think you are aware and awake
dreams where you become aware
that you are not kissing lips but air
that you must change the scene
that you must wake yourself
write your poetry
create your reality.

Consent part two

Consent matters
consent means
you ask
i ask
dont assume
dont just walk in
without asking
consent means
you consider
more than just
your space
your desires
your plans
your fantasies
your expectations
your needs
because anything else
renders
my voice
my feelings
my space
my dreams
my needs
invisible
consent means
you ask
before touching
my coat
my shoulder
my breasts
before
filling my space
filling my place
filling my face
consent means
you ask
because
you assuming
i say no
i say yes
based on
what you heard
about me
what you think
about my politics
about my opinion
of you
of your motivations
of your character
that are
are unknown until
you ask
says you dont
give a fuck
about me beyond
what you think
you can do to me
regardless
of injury or horror
your singularity
of your assumptions
do to
my body
my feelings
my soul
as you wreak damage
and dispose of me
even well intended
without asking
without consent
brings it all to
destructive ends
consent means
you acknowlege
you do not own me
you are not entitled
you are not a predator
you ask
because you see me
because you see my humanity
consent means
real possibilities
of dreams and desires
mutually fulfilled.

the healing came last night

sage on fire
smoking
swirling
washing my rooms
lingering
chasing out demons
welcoming love
healing all spaces
i was tipsy with spirit

heated meet

familiar walk
a well-worn path
in well-traveled dirt
hard packed density
rock hard
summer sun not yet heating
spring cold land
meet me near Litha
with naked feet
and bare oak.

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