Why Can’t We Be Better Human Beings?

I wake up with three strikes 
against me every morning; 
I’m Black, a woman, and bisexual. 
Before I take my first sip of coffee, 
or walk my dog or relieve 
the pressure my sinuses issue 
daily, I am a prisoner 
of a wrathful world.

There are some who deny 
the evil lurking within the 
shadows of our inhumane selves, 
but I see the anguish lining 
the faces of people struggling to 
live in the skin clinging to 
their bleeding flesh. 
Some of us have been yelling 
at the top of our lungs for 
decades; left with bruised voices.

Can you hear us? Are you listening?

Back when I dwelled in 
the closet, I messed around with 
a woman who had been 
“passing the time” with me — living 
out her fantasies. 
She’d learned this behavior from 
her father, who learned it from 
his own, and the cycle continued 
with her. I was a thing to 
lean on and in when her main 
source of comfort wasn’t around.

I have always been someone 
for people to try on, see if I 
fit, then exchange for a better 
model when that model is 
This is not the fault of 
one person, it is the birth 
of a damaging generation that
doesn’t know how to change or 
if it even can.

Why can’t we be better 
human beings? 
What’s stopping us? 
We would rather torture 
the helpless, bomb the harmless, 
and manipulate the oppressed than 
work in harmony toward solutions 
to make life easier for everyone.

I used to believe in love as 
the strongest antidote for ailments 
of any kind, but now … I am certain 
we need this world to shift in 
an entirely different direction if 
we have any chance of surviving.

This cruel world hammers away 
at the beauty of love. 
It grinds it down to dust and 
sprinkles it over our wounds. 
It wants to see us fade away — never 
to be heard from again.

When a nation can silence a woman, 
shoot and kill innocent children, 
brutally beat people of color 
into submission, and oppose 
legitimate elections, we have 
lost all sure footing.

And love stands patiently in 
the shadows waiting for us 
to reel in our senses.

I wake up with three strikes 
against me every morning; 
I’m Black, a woman, and bisexual. 
Before I take my first sip of coffee, 
or walk my dog or relieve the 
pressure my sinuses issue 
daily, I am a prisoner 
of a wrathful world.

This shouldn’t be, and we know it.

©2022 Tremaine L. Loadholt

I was invited by the July guest editor for SETU Magazine, Candice Louisa DaQuin, to write a poem for its theme of “Colours of Love and Barriers”, and the above is what came to me. I am honored to see this piece live in SETU Magazine, published on Saturday, August 06, 2022. Thank you for reading.

30 Seconds in His Heart for Two Days


Free Verse Poetry

I used to date a boy from
the West Side who went
to our school on the East Side — 
we were both young and dumb,
unattached to anything, still
searching for our own scents
and places to belong.

I hadn’t yet found the courage
to tell young men, I also fell for — 
wanted — young women, but he knew.
He saw me on the court, often — 
against girls, against boys, against
anyone who thought they could
cross me over and land a bucket.

My father taught me how to dribble.
My cousin forced me to use my left hand — 
I’m right-handed.
My uncle and grandfather dared the
boys in their neighborhood to give me
one shady look or it would be their ass …
They had better let me on the court,
and they did.

But back to the days of me
tucking long shirts into 
Cross Colours shorts and lacing 
up Karl Kani boots while carrying
a gym bag full of basketball gear — 
sweaty from a hustle on the 
court until streetlight o’clock.

He wanted me.
I wanted him.

And so we were, for five years — 
off and on. 
He was the only one who could
score multiple points on me; taller
by a whole foot and two inches, my 
plan would be …
relax in 3-point country and let
it rain.
Shooting was my saving grace.

We were the real 
Love and Basketball couple,
scheming on and off the court.
I’d lost a lot of things with him — 
a lot of firsts were torn down,
spat on, and stunted.

I hadn’t learned that
it only took 30 seconds to
pierce his heart.
It took 2 days for him to 
settle in mine.

Were we too young to 
be that much in love?

That was the question 
my parents asked us.
But my father loved this
boy — plotted on him marrying me,
and was crushed when this
did not happen.
I had ruined it — that was inevitable.

He found someone else when we 
were in our 30s — kept in touch
over the years until he proposed,
then it was unholy to speak to 
me … I used to be happy
he had finally gotten happy with
someone else.

I used to be …
As I got older, I just
accepted it — neither happy nor 
sad, just aware that these things
happen, and we had 
to lose each other in order
for me to find myself.

I can’t run up and down 
courts anymore — my shins
are bad, my lower back is 
garbage, and my knees have
seen their last days swerving to
box someone out for
a rebound.

But I remember those 
30 seconds. I remember those
2 days. 
I wonder — does he?
Should he?
Probably not.

Originally published in soliloque via Medium.

Blahzay Blahzay, Danger. ©1996

Holding On To the Simple Things in Life

Photo by Glenna Rankin via ReShot

Amazoned a Pour-Over Coffee maker–
brand name, Bodum–black, and
the sheer level of excitement sweeping
over me has no name.

I even purchased an extra filter,
a pour-over kettle, and a bag of
decaffeinated chocolate fudge nut
coffee, all due to hit my doorstep
within one week.

You may be thinking to yourself,
“Why is she sharing this info with us?”
And I understand why you’d venture
to ask yourself this question.

This purchase makes me happy.
I am delighted with taking on
something new pertaining to
how I make my coffee.

A long-time friend and
still desirable crush
put me on to this method of
brewing coffee as his palate
is a snobby one.

He’s a coffee
connoisseur–no shame about it,
and I want to give my taste buds
the joy of experiencing something

A woman I dated years ago
was the same way.

Her coffee
had to be blessed by prayed
over hands, no hotter than
lukewarm–sugared to perfection,
and strong enough to get
her through the day.

What better time to take a
step towards ushering in
pure joy while I still can
than right now?

Holding on to the simple
things in life has been my
staple–my way of breathing
during rough times, and I doubt

I’ll be letting go
anytime soon.

©2022 Tremaine L. Loadholt Originally published via Simily.

The Things I Am Not

And who I am and who I’d like to be

Simple. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

I am an open book with a tired spine. I am not an only child — the eldest of seven. I creep beneath the sun’s shadows on cloudy days and savor a subtle breeze as it blows haphazardly in my direction.

Not a smoker. Not a drinker. Not a person who cares if you do or don’t, as long as you aren’t bringing harm to others — do as you please. I won’t sit back and keep my tongue on pause when a situation/action/ordeal rubs me the wrong way.

I am not your best friend’s best thing. Not a visual artist. Not a fan of everyone merging into one another. Where is the ability to be unique — to stand out from the crowd?

The bandwagon is toppling. We need to lighten the load.

I am not a night owl — not a club-hopper, can’t tell you the last time I’ve allowed someone to get within six feet of me if they weren’t family or a close/best friend.

I am not interested in cryptocurrency, bitcoin, sales & marketing. I don’t want to know how many ways I can flip a house.

I could care less about social media. You won’t find me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok; hell, I’m barely tolerating LinkedIn, and it’s lightweight entertainment on a good day.

I still listen to my favorite artists on CDs, others on vinyl. I have zero shame in pulling up YouTube to venture down memory lane.

Nope, I’m not addicted to Spotify, Apple Music, or any other app that gives me hundreds of thousands of artists at my beck and call.

I can write until my fingers bleed. I give birth to stories that have spent more than nine months in my brain. I am a healthcare worker leaning towards 20 years in the field.

I am not heterosexual.
I do not lack love.
I cannot stand what this world is becoming.

I am not in a relationship — don’t want to be “hooked up” with your boy or “set up” with your girl. Keep your friends where they are — they’ll have way too much to deal with as it pertains to who I am now.

I can say that openly without stuttering. I can say that and feel no shame. I know where my lane is and I stay in it.

I am me. Flawed. Fearful. Forgiven. The things I am not are exactly who I am.

This is a response to the CRY “Who Are You” prompt. Originally published in CRY Magazine via Medium.

N’Dambi, Can’t Hardly Wait