Getting to Know Me (An Audio Poem)

Community art: Different Women. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

2019 MTV Awards Musical Performance by Missy Elliott

Getting to Know Me

An Audio Poem

My kid sister probes me
for information. She needs to
know more about me.
Our upbringing was an odd one.
I’m more of a mother-figure to her
than a big sister; with 19 years
separating us, she “ma’ams” me
rather than “Ooh, girl” or 
“Child, pleases” me and it just seems weird.

She urges me to open up, to share,
but I’m not really the type to complain
more than I need to or
give more of me than I should.
I’ve learned who to shed skin
with and who not to and this isn’t
to say that my sister isn’t to
be trusted, no, that’s not it.
I’m just . . . careful now.

I want to vent sometimes to her,
I want her to hear me when I’m
in distress, yet there’s this overwhelming
feeling to protect her too
even if it’s from me.
She assures me she’s old
enough to digest what I
dole out but I’m hesitant.

I’ve lived a far different life
and my demons tend to follow
me along my sacred paths and
my sister is still growing,
still learning. I don’t want her
to know the me that drives
people away. I’m still working
on that me.
I need her around.

I’d hate for her to be one more
person I find myself chasing
after; another heart to grip.
People want you to strip
bare, stand naked before them,
but many of them aren’t ready
for the curves and folds and
two-toned skin. They just want
to see more of you even if
more of you isn’t beautiful.

It’s one more thing they can
hang over your head, dangle like
a dagger, cut you to the quick.
I’m trying. I swear, I am.
I ask her to be patient with me,
to understand — I have a way
and my way is comforting.
I can’t be rushed.

She understands.
Thank God in heaven.
She understands.


Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.

This Skin: The Depth of Our Essence

Image for post
Art Photo by Jon Tyson via Unsplash

An Audio Poem

I stretch out my hands to my lover,
my life — he lifts his wandering eyes 
up at me, happy to catch my silhouette
still as the nightlife.
This now is a scary place
to be — we linger on each other’s 
tongues, hopeful to create passion
in the pique of all pain.

I know he doesn’t really see me — 
he looks past this skin, calls me
his caramel, hot-mama, Georgia-Peach
elite. I am his Upper Echelon under
the covers, undercover — hidden 
from view. 
We keep secrets nestled in the grooves
of our aging skin, collecting them
as we meet another year.

I tell him I’d live in his curls if I could — 
a universe of wonder for hair.
He smiles. He loves a good
compliment. His full lips
measure the amount of stress 
I’ve stored in my collarbone. 
By his hands, relief appears. 
I pay him in orgasms.

When we go out, our hands 
are at our sides, we stand close
but far — close but away from the 
scent of each other’s breath. 
We feign tolerance of the 
stares that follow us. 
I nod and smile — nod and smile,
keep my composure.

He tells me the people in this 
neighborhood don’t see color and 
I worry even more. How can they
know me if they don’t see me?
I fiddle with my newly broken fingernail
and ignore what he says just 
for a moment.

We pass time by walking two blocks — 
white picket fences fill my eyes.
Election signs for the Elephant 
are markers for miles.
“They don’t see color, huh?”
He is silent. He pulls me closer,
latches on to my hand, and 
quickens his pace.

I keep step — keep time, my swollen
heart beats faster as we exit
this territory.
The depth of our essence — this skin
will not protect us, not even 
from the colorblind.

I lay in his thoughts — stir myself 
deeper as a mixture of lust, love, and
curiosity. He plucks his brain
for a better view of this world.
There is none.

It saddens him to realize this.
I hug him close to me — I knew
what he didn’t. 
I prepared myself for it
before we left the house.


Originally published in The Junction via Medium.

the gifted boy and loves past

A Rapid Rhyme

boy in black jacket holding camera
Photo by Zahra Amiri via Unsplash

A Rapid Rhyme Audio Poem

The gifted boy chose his chore,
an invitation to toy with others
who bore the pain
from life’s insane paths

a kid big on master plans
he demands the same treatment
& has no fans
in his misty eyes,
he holds the cries
of loves past

too many to name,
none of them would last


Originally published via Twitter as an experiment. This is the last Rapid Rhyme poem I will do for a while. I have had so much fun doing these! Thanks again Peter for the inspiration!

Lucky Lou, Stu, and the Woman

A Rapid Rhyme

Man in Black Jacket Standing Near Black Wooden Door
Photo by cottonbro via Pexels

A Rapid Rhyme Audio Poem

Lucky Lou said to Stu
that he’d catch the girl
who rocked their world
& make plans to do more
than hold hands

what Stu didn’t know
wouldn’t hurt his flow &
Lucky Lou was cool too
besides being a fool in
love with a woman who’d glide

right on to the next,
Lou only wanted sex


Originally posted via Twitter as an experiment.

wisdom in unconventional places

A Rapid Rhyme

Books on Shelves
Photo by Huynh Dat via Pexels

A Rapid Rhyme Audio Poem


Who would take the bait?
It’d be an added fate to
the mix, we nix the tools we
often use, afraid to partner up with
fools who choose to disguise themselves
& place their wealth on the shelves of
life. That’s right.

Kick back, take it all in
my friend–it’s only the beginning.


Originally posted to Twitter as an experiment.