What of Her? The Strong Woman . . .

who holds the strong woman
up when she can’t lift
herself
when she crawls from heartbreak
to healing without a
steady hand

the depth of her weakened spirit
lunges forward and
lengthens her presence

she is her own savior
she is her own God

Last Night, I Watched the Salt-N-Pepa Biopic and Thought of You

All-knowing Moon

And how odd was the image of you that crept into the recesses of my mind as I looked on at a bond that began quickly, kept up with the changing of the times over the years, then pent itself into harm’s way by backing into a proverbial wall. Years later, that wall was torn down and those same souls who’d bonded quickly built the strength of their love up to a level that none of us can touch.

That is Salt. That is Pepa.

That is missing you. That is remembering graphic pictures sent to my phone. Skintight jeans cuffed at the ankles. Spaghetti strap tops. Fishnet stockings covering naked legs and supple ass cheeks. No panties . . . You were a voluptuous work of modern-day art and I salivated at your will.

Beckoned and Called.

I was younger then. Way younger. And I hungered for you. Those flicks kept me satisfied when distance had been too much to bear. I knew you were probably watching the biopic last night too and being overly-critical.

I was Salt. You were Pepa. And the difference between us versus them is we had lust pockets purging our friendship into a nasty ball while we allowed our feelings to turn into something bigger. I fell too hard, though. Something I was prone to doing many moons ago.

You pointed that out. My kind of love was not what you had been seeking. Still, you threw your bait at me and I swam to it like an eager fish. I had many nets. If I could have chosen, all of them would have caught you.

We didn’t part ways like adults should have. You stopped talking to me when you figured out the way I love could never satisfy you. I found that out five years later after dreading another ghost. It’s hard tracing the tracks of someone who never leaves footprints.

The music of our youth reached my ears and “The First Ladies of Hip Hop” reminded me of you and what I put you through and what you put me through and I wanted to pull them both into an embrace and tell them how brave they are for shooting the shit publicly and apologizing to one another for their wrongdoings.

We could NEVER be that mature.

Tempted to Leave in the Midst of Mixed Emotions

Flash Fiction

Photo by Alex Iby via Unsplash

Locked in the basement of their home, she waits. Years of feeling used and unwanted hang at her side. He has a crazy way of showing he loves her. She feels love, though. Is it indeed that? When he caressed her cheek lightly after she cooked his favorite meal . . . When he held her close to him in post-coital bliss . . . When he showed her off at public affairs . . .

This is their life. A back and forth of safety and danger and defeat and peril. She is at the center of a damaging storyline. Can she turn the page? Will she shift the plot?

He doesn’t like his story yet he carries it with him.

He is a burly man. A tall, lumberjack with a thick red beard to match his thick red hair. His voice is a boombox set to the highest volume. He bleeds disruption. Deep inside, there is this gentle boy who spent hundreds of nights trapped in a closet — put there by his drunk father who didn’t like the way he breathed.

At the age of ten, he was tasked with being the man of the household. A paper route and bottle cap hunting became odd jobs with little pay. A breadwinner. A means to an end.

His mother wrapped herself in blind intelligence and sulked her life away in the folds of a Tempur-Pedic mattress while her children played house. She died on his fifteenth birthday.

He makes sure she’s fed. The fattened calf. The precious lamb.

He doesn’t like his story yet he carries it with him.


She pulls the small window latch towards her, calls the winter breeze inside to feel something other than the pain stuck to her bones. She knows he’ll come downstairs soon to offer a plate a food. Maybe spaghetti tonight. Or stewed beef. 

He makes sure she’s fed. The fattened calf. The precious lamb. He was a chef in his former life. She fell in love with his alfredo sauce. It was bait.

There are no children. Her mother said to be thankful she did not have the extra baggage. She can leave without tethers. She can bolt upright and out of her life with the right tools. Does she have the right tools?

He weighs the rice before plating it. A cup full. Steamed broccoli. Baked chicken bathed in homemade gravy. Scratch honey cornbread.

He walks the plate down to his wife. His prisoner. His catch. He loved her deeply. He hopes she knows this. This is for her own good. No one else will leave him. No one else can try. She is all he had.

“I made your favorite tonight, babe. Be careful. It’s hot.”

The scent of the food overpowers the fresh breeze outside. She closes the window. She looks at her husband. He stands before her with sad eyes. An even sadder smile. He places the food on a tray five feet away from her.

“I made your favorite tonight, babe. Be careful. It’s hot.”

Was she careful? Could she be? It isn’t love when you start thinking about throwing a hot pot of grits on another human being. It isn’t love when you imagine their face melting off right before your eyes.

She tastes a spoonful of rice with gravy. Her body remembers the comfort she was lured to in the beginning.

“Tomorrow, I’ll leave,” she says under her breath. “Tomorrow.”

Does she have the right tools?


Originally published via Medium.

Stop Using Love

What in you says you actually love when it doesn’t seem so? How is it you can say you love someone when you don’t call, text, write, or haven’t heard their voice in years? Why would you say you love people even though nothing about your actions suggest this is true? Love is action, what are you doing to prove you truly love someone?

What?! Do you know what love is? Do you know what it takes to love another? Can you even try?

It’s time to stop using a word you aren’t actually using. Be real about what you do and don’t do.

Be real about who you are to others. Get to know the person in the mirror staring back at you. Love doesn’t need you lying on or about it. Stop using love.