M. Suite (9/15)


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Fourth of July fireworks burn
A path in the sugar cane.
A heady, sweet smoke delights
And chokes.
The saccharine fog kills


Diabetes, obesity, brain inflammation
Processed white slave sugar slow suicide.
Low mobility, sleep apnea, chemical crashes.
Processed white slave sugar slow suicide.


I build a sluggish wall of blubber,
The outer fortress of my tower.
My weight keeps me ugly, ignored, safe.
I eat a hole in my heart.
Hollowed and rounded,
I breathe in loud, waking snores.

Wide eyed,
I smear strawberry jam on my rye toast
And still taste only the bitter.

From Best Western to Western State (12/30)


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It was summer in Charlottesville,
The heavy, humid heat oppressed us all.
I sweated and stood near the corner of 14th and Main,
In front of lemon grass and lucky seven junior.
Burnt thai food and losing lotto tickets assaulted my nose.
I ripped pages from a John Grisham best seller,
And let the yellow edged pages flutter down into the gutter.
A man asked me why I did this.
I answered, “’Cause I am a poor, black, sick woman.”
He admonished me, “Come on, now.”
And, he left me.
A woman approached me and called me a performance artist,
And said that my point had been made.
I smiled at her.
I noticed her purse was bigger than her head.
She had more space for her wallet and keys than for her brain.
I laughed at this—low and mean.
She demanded I give her the remnants of the book.
I gave her the novel, saving the last chapter for myself.
It told me in code to find a room to myself.
I moved from a triple wide guest room to a
Hospital room to a
Studio on Grady to a
Padded cell
Roaming to find my space.

For M—- (9/11)


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breathing meditations work
if you don’t have to fight to breathe,

is it hard to catch your breath in stage four?

asphyxiation is no longer erotic when inescapable.

we never played those games, you and I.

now, i assume the part of stoic wife caretaker.
and, you take the role of a man waving good-bye.

you always made waves in my butter.
you were. you are, you will be. you will not be.

i don’t believe in god,
but i always believed in you.
believe, will believe, will not see.


“Eat microbiotic.”




nagging you well.

the skunk smell of weed and irony
will bring you to me as it now agitates separates us.

at the back of my throat and tongue, i will taste our first
meal at fellini’s where you spilled marinara sauce on your lapel.
a stain never removed. a jacket, your last sports coat, donated
carelessly to the good will.

you are the lemon in my black, lukewarm tea.
god, i will miss yellow.

now, you offer an apricot and lavender sunset.
the sweet replaces the sour in time for the
bitter-skinned shroud i don to grieve and laugh at you.

you make me think of my mother
and how she adored the gospel,
“jesus loves me.”

i was never that sure about you or
our endings…


Anger Turned Inward (9/30)


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Delicious tiny kernels of relief among a deluge of sadness.
Evil is contemplated for the first time. I am. It is. We are.
Politeness pushes isolation. Have nothing nice to say.
Rolling over and over messages of defeat in a heavy gravity.
Eating my sadness–large sugar plums of detest, despair, and disease,
Sun rises and sets on the problem–me, still in bed, covered, numb.
Saying nothing. Prayers fall on a dead god’s sow ear.
I am nothing, I long for oblivion. I sanitize meaning.
Once upon a time, fairy tales break as I sit slipperless–mouth filled with poisoned apple.
No end in sight–until it ends.

If you like this piece, I hope you decide to sponsor it at the Tupelo Press and Teen Creative Writing Center 30/30 Poetry Fundraiser https://tupelopress.wordpress.com/3030-project/. Every little bit counts. And, thank you for your time, attention, and support!

On Dying Slowly (8/30)


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The desolate room misses babe and me.
Her gloved palm of flower and fruit held mine.
His masked face frowned as my womb then empty
grew garnet and crimson, not a safe sign.
Lust erupted my parenthood unplanned.
Her kind brown eyes try to smile confidently,
calmly. I see truth behind the ocean’s sand.
I remove my hand and cry silently.
The salty sadness of numbness not pain.
At eighteen, my choice convenience blushing.
Vacuumed out clean, I try to remain sane,
hearing nothing but the cool air rushing.
Once swollen with rose and morning glory.
Hurt too fresh for touching allegory.

If you like the poem, please consider sponsoring my work at the Tupelo Press 30/30 Poetry Fundraiser at https://tupelopress.wordpress.com/3030-project/ Every little bit helps. And, thank you for sharing my writing journey with me.

Humanity Washed Ashore (7/30)


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Aylan Kurdi, a three year old toddler in blue and red.
One of four million Syrians fled.

His mother, Rehan, and brother, Galip, also past,
capsized on their way to Kos.

Refugees, a boat journey, senseless death…
Where a family fluttered in the sea…

One swam away.

Their father, Abdullah, chokes and cannot breathe.
How can he begin to grieve?

Where will he find welcome haven?
When only shadows of loved ones hover, haunting.

May they rest in power.
Peace is not for times like these.

To sponsor my writing, please see https://tupelopress.wordpress.com/3030-project/


Dear Anxiety


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Dear Anxiety,

You were with me when no one else appeared. You reminded me what should be feared.
You kept me focused when I had no discipline. You kept me awake when I wanted to sleep.
You helped me set boundaries and hard limits.

Now, it is time to say good bye.

I have support and friends when I am afraid.
I have discipline and routine.
I want to follow my dreams now.
I want to be limitless.

Thank you for our time together. Thank you for always being there.

But, now is a different time. I have changed. I have grown.
So, I must say good bye.
And, lovingly let you go.


Craw Daddy Academy (6/30)


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“Scorpion, scorpion!” Sister screeched.
She had climbed to the doorway,
Backlit by a naked bulb in the front hallway.
Her outline hazed, she stood—
A gesticulating, accusatory, angel goddess.
I tasted her tension. It electrified.
She pointed and saluted
The berry, the red, our lives,
The red,

For the conclusion of this poem, please go to the Tupelo Press and Teen Creative Writing 30/30 Poetry Fundraiser at https://tupelopress.wordpress.com/3030-project/. Please consider sponsoring my work. Every little bit helps. And, thank you for supporting my work. :)


Deference (5/30)


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He is a white man in a brown space.

Indian curry in the front; Latino curry cooks in the back.

He wears a black button down shirt and slacks offering

a blank canvas on which you project your neurosis and hunger.

Pushing his thick dark hair back from his face,

you can catch the sincerity’s gleam in his eye.

The room lit by small silver flower sconces

calmly masks his game’s precision.

Amid the wordless music and silverware clangs and diners’ murmurs,

he transforms the world of this restaurant with its sweet smells of

mango lassi and butter chicken into his strict mistress.

To read the rest of the poem, please go to the Tupelo Press and Teen Creative Writing Center 30/30 Poetry Fundraiser at https://tupelopress.wordpress.com/3030-project/. Please consider sponsoring my work. Every little bit helps. And, thank you for supporting my writing! :)


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