A filament of light garnishes the edge of her portrait. She’s fair skinned, with a necklace that sits right on the mantle of her neck’s resting place. Beads of words dangle from my lips- they’re like amino acids forming in a polypeptide chain. They string together to form compliments and they’re stored in a word bank that deposits continually because she makes me richer. She’s the cream of the crop surfaced to make me gravitate towards God’s good will.
I can’t think of a poem that will respect her in the space in between lines; she overcomes the rules of writing and the soul perceives her to be the one. When the soul is filling in the space of innate wonder, it becomes a reality that even the clock ticks nervously like a radio host clearing his throat one last time before going “On Air”.
We dialogue, but I don’t know where her nearest flower shop is or where she’s found her favorite restaurant. I can only ask questions and probe into the pollen of a new season with a girl that hasn’t made me feel the way she has. And the bee in me is buzzing to be next to her.
I circulate thoughts of lust, elevating a fleshly desire for marriage and family. God is faithful to introduce a buffer between my acidic ploy and instead gifts me with His presence so that I can find a heavenly balance to be the scale on which my hopes and dreams lie. So Jesus, I want you more romantically than the space between my skull thinks is possible.
And in celebration of your daughter, I pray for her as my sister in Christ. I pray that my loss of sleep isn’t a form of idolatry but a space to sand the rough edges of a boyfriend who knows he can do better. I celebrate her asking you to remove any of my bitterness that misrepresents who she is to you. The night takes way the last of the embers and the dew of the morning reasons to bring the sun upon its freshness.
Thank you for these past couple of months.
Fumbling through the antithesis of a calm and beautiful spring season, I shuffle my school work in my bag and get going to school. Exam 1’s are complete.
Past the forbidden tree lies the harrowing fumigated shadows of risen tendons and muscles past the point of their speed. It was the crevice of music synchronizing with the laden crest. Rampage is the voice of the lady’s black dress; it becomes the creek of blood washed to the recycling of the ocean’s currents. Past the dormant sleep of yesterday comes the fury of unwritten works from the man above. How do you spoil the coming of the risen Lord?
You become the inoculated force hushing through the bushes of evergreens that will produce no shade in the rancor of beaten bodies of marsupials.
Simple contusions make the limbs grow weak tumbling in the point of lactic acidosis. True bickering never laid a man to rest because peace tears the unavoidable mind. Wrong won’t make the right until the right finds quiet in the century’s rendition of collective thought.
“Branch out”, it says in the echo of the lost hills. It mumbles a breath of dewy earth and cleans in the string of strong touch. Birth the banshee for it makes it the queen of trouble. Hold my flexed position of righteousness.
Turn the tune up higher than before. It will make the gestures of me find the north in all that happens to escalate the return of delight.
Farewell if not I had the chance to wish it well. Thank the spirit of the dirty plates to feed the hungry. It won’t saturate my soul for the sauce of his chopsticks break before the bite. If not my queen, then the stockings rip upon the face of the dismantled. All to become the beloved tide of the cold seeping into all that covered the richness of the afternoon sun. The heat loses in conversion to the night light but it will be warm again. Trust Him that it will.
The scepter grows cold in the woman’s hand. Her forearm drops and the item dismantles onto the wooden floor. The panel of plywood coils up and the uniformity of the floor now needs remodeling. But all the more, she has made a statement. The pinnacle of her salvation made with one fist lifted and the other dropping the weapon that would be a protective barrier from foe to victor. She stands over him mustering the courage not to shovel the groove of steel up into his eyes for him to never be able to see the hurt from his own attrition. He’s being proctored for the very moment that made him a thug. Even now he puckers his lips upon the envelope of white skin has been plastered with a stamp of bigotry that cannot last forever. This type of act will expire and the menace of lyrical blood will accent the path of his next four years. He will trail the land that will not allow him to step backwards. He has won, so he thinks, but he cowers behind the lottery of unfinished business. The woman stands exemplary of a movement started by the mother Teresa’s and Rosa Parks’ of yesterday’s making sure that the oil for the lamp was plenty for those marching into the future. “Savage” she calls him and walks out with her boots tearing through the atrophied wood and bending it over his remnant body. She closes the door behind him with the key landing on his red tie. Her breath ascends in a gassy, visible cloud and her chest expands with the strength to move on.
School has always been a sanctuary for cranial involvement and an influx of that purpose to soften the challenge of growing up in the real world. It’s also been a location where a messenger unveils the spirit of His word in a setting where I’m already willing to listen. And much like the church, once outside, hopefully the classroom follows my verb to be a student of all facets of life.
Last Tuesday night, I went to a funeral. The better part of the valley lost a man who surrendered himself to give more than receive and we were all better for that. He never condensed my confidence over a stupid mistake and never let his pride trample his beauty to forgive. He always shook my hand and through that gesture, he affected me more than he’ll ever now know. He was a man that did for others and was recognized by an ensemble of guests who mourned on his behalf.
Our class slide show reads, “What is Cancer?” Scientifically, it makes sense, but it doesn’t make sense when it actually makes it hard for life to continue. And while the funeral can honor the man who lost a battle, the agent was foreign and unwilling to be benign in the process. It was dirty in its target, fast moving in its plan to replicate beyond the heart of his loved ones to stop it from happening.
And so that beloved man lost his life to cancer. He became brittle but love conducted beyond the evil experiment. When life looks at me, it doesn’t know me more than by the number of my cells designed by my genes; the scripture is a formula for my aging bones to find true density in what matters most. I can’t pull apart humility and try to ingrain it in my being, but I pray to replicate the good of His spirit by learning and listening to Him teach.
My heart is like lava. It’s a spiritual hot that makes evil flee, but the moment it cools, it hardens in the posterity of a permanent clause, “The End”.
It’s been in a season where I feel my heart cooling down and the hardening has burrowed my eyebrows downward towards a flicker of complaint as my eyes look for a fight.
Idolatry is an increasing poison that scathes the epidermis of my conscious and pedigrees itself higher than the word of the Lord making the latter manifest onto a tablet of stone. Idolatry rewrites the history of my resurrection day as a superficial burn that emits pain but can be bandaged through an unendangered expectancy of “I’m okay”.
2016 has been the pour of concrete into a deep crevice, so that I don’t fall into the areas that are void without purpose. But I’ve poured while blindfolded, so as I open my eyes, I see tall mountains above me. There’s a deep frustration that the trajectory of the next climb is even harder because I took the mold without understanding the chemistry and made time revert to a unlikable dimension without my permission.
The lava glows teal in a blender of magical surprise. It pulsates into a rhythm and dance that are taught by the Native Hopi. It channels a light on the ground next to moss and starts flowing in a current swayed by the uncharted West. It gravitates to the elements of the One and then back to my dreams. It stops. It won’t be able to find its course as easily as it once did. The cause led to the effect and the ebb stagnates into movements that forget that the journey was already defined by the One. There I am standing and watching this dense glow fork its path next to my feet ready to swim past where pressure is less hurried.
There’s no way this ethereal sludge will make it up the mountain. But if it does, I’ll be a fool for not believing to go with the Spirit that will lead me when I listen.
It seemed to me that you were my birth place from as young as I can remember. But there was a past history- one that marked me a citizen of another nation- the phenotypes that registered light skin, black hair, and brown eyes. I was their’s and then I became your’s through my five senses, but never in document. Your neighbors on map were in possession of a soul that spent the early days of my family’s migration on the road as we canvassed 48 states in three months. I was in the back of the car mostly, sitting on my mom’s lap and they told me I was a quiet baby.
I grew up not knowing much and couldn’t remember if I spoke to more than two people in a day’s attempt to make it an adventure. Mark another page off the calendar. School was a pleasant upbringing- I harnessed the quilt of giving and taking there; I asked Marvin to be my best friend in kindergarten; that relationship didn’t last long. My dad helped me with my book reports. I was a translator of his anger because I couldn’t come up with a summary- he read with me and I fixed his grammar on the sheet that gave me trouble comprising sentences. I was a loud one through elementary school perhaps because there was not enough supportive voice around me.
I drew attention to middle school in Beverly Hills- still in your county but relevantly different in vibe and nurture. I remember masturbating for the first time and possibly made it an ongoing fascination because I was a boy still yet to be shipped my growth spurt. I was wild about holding girls’ hands and hoped to walk around school as part of girls’ talk. All the while I grew numb to my parents fighting at home and hated that I was so hungry what seemed like every 30 minutes. My mom never could get the pot off the stove in time- I was angry that I had to burn my tongue to eat away my starvation. I played 1-on-1 basketball with Mr. Toutant almost every day. He never could figure me out.
Life had a meaning and I didn’t know that I meant something to it.
To be continued…
When a verb is a word it loses its purpose to be.
I sit under the dormant street lights hearing the crackle of water diffuse from its source of higher concentration to the roof of my car. I know I should wake early tomorrow for work, but the seat of creativity flows through my capillaries. My fingers move and the fortuitous bounce of ideas row softly into the basket. Point after point, I smile at the scoreboard and sing the song of deliverance after a day decides to reset under sleepy eyes.
I wake up and I clench my abdomen through the cold of an unwritten morning. I slide past the door like mail coming in through a house. I sometimes hum the melody of the broken world and ride its discouragement until the hoof of my horse stops to gather its breath. It doesn’t want to move and understandably it wasn’t trained to wander past through green pastures and the plurality of ponds of water.
I often thought I could mimic the worship of a saint. I thought a preacher’s voice was my own if I amplified it loud enough. In the struggle of planning for age, it is a confounding nature to want to sit in biased conclusion that I have grown too old for the dreams of the young. I belong in a cohort of compatibility with a box yet unwrapped and prospectively want the study of opening that box to favor me.
But retrospectively, I was the case and He was the control. And when something as rare as a relationship is exposed, He became the verb for me to be.