taken

Photo by Gui França on Unsplash
taken by Tremaine L. Loadholt

I am taken aback by her — by
who she is, what she does, and
how she moves about in
this world.

she is bold — passionate about
life and her surroundings, and
I stand on faltering feet,
wondering when I’ll be
able to l o o s e this confession
curdling my spirit.

I am eating my words
for dinner, submerging my
heart into overflowing waters,
stunted by fears that
tangle my tongue.

women need to come with
instruction manuals, and an
extra five dollars behind
their ears — I got tolls to
pay every time I lose
myself in one of them.

I get shy around her–nerves
tighten my stomach muscles,
and I play hide-n-seek with
my words. 
why am I like this?

does she notice?
will she say something?

and every day we 
shoot the shit like I
ain’t dreaming about cuffing
her to the base of my heart 
and whipping her hips
under my arms.

“I’m a sinner. I’m a saint.”

and I no longer feel
shame in this skin I’m in,
but this woman . . . 
this fine, Black woman,
skips and dashes,
slips and thrashes her
way into my mind more
than I realize, and I

am taken aback by her
again and again and
again.


*Track playing in the background: Sade, Is It a Crime?


Originally published in soliloque via Medium.