Love on a Platter

A musical poem

Photo by Matheus Henrin via Pexels

The phone rang and her voice
shimmied into my ear.
Every bone in my body
begged her to come,
Lay It Down On Me.

I wasn’t shy in my request.
A recent breakup made me the
rebound — implored her to
Guess Who Loves You More
and she didn’t hesitate.

My mind ached; the time we spent
was cut back, we became
Distant Lover (s) before we
could ever be friends.
Lovemaking was a pastime to
explore ‘Til The Cops Come
Knockin’
.

She’d never been thrown into
a world of wonder without
a ploy behind the scenes and
I had to Take My Time,
Do It Right
.

Deflowered at midnight in
a bed of pillowed trust,
her heart was the key to my
boarded up walls.
I looked at her and whispered,
“You’re So Beautiful.”

She hears me.
She hears me.
I bloom in the midst
of love on a platter.
Scandalous before a naked moon
She understands — decides to
Let Me In.

We sunflowered the days
and moonbeamed the nights . . .
Toujours perdrix— but just
enough for us.


Originally published in Intimately Intricate on Medium.

Loneliness Doesn’t Knock

Photo by Leo Kwan via Unsplash

It shows up unannounced and doesn’t know when to leave


It is not like me to forget to respond to a text message from one of my brothers. We’re close. We usually speak multiple times per week. On this day, we had been communicating during one of my breaks, and I mentioned heading back to work. His response, “Okay, sis. Text me later.” I had all intentions to do so, but then 8:30 p.m. hit the dot, and I found myself buried in a recently gifted book of poetry to ease my troubled mind, and I remembered, “Oh! I have to text TJ back.”

Loneliness had crept in without an invitation, and with her, she brought fear, pain, insecurity, and a general feeling of sadness. I sent my brother a message to apologize for my tardiness. I told him I was having an emotional time and decided to read to curb the anguish.

Naturally, he wanted to know what was wrong. I told him I was experiencing a brief bout of loneliness. It comes. It goes. Sometimes I do have to encourage her to pack her things and set up residence elsewhere, but it was early yet. I did not have to ready the sage or drown myself in encouraging prayers. He said something I would have never expected from him. “You sound like me, sis.”

I shook my head in total disbelief. My brother has never had any trouble connecting with a woman. He isn’t shy. He doesn’t show off. He typically says what’s on his mind. And from my view of being on the outside looking in, he doesn’t have to try hard. I responded, “Yeah . . . but you have no trouble connecting. I’m shyer in that area.”

Loneliness had crept in without an invitation, and with her, she brought fear, pain, insecurity, and a general feeling of sadness.

Apparently, my younger brother was struggling at the same time I was, and I had to raise my ears to the presence of sound and focus more on listening to him. Perhaps now that he has gotten older, connectivity is waning. I am nine years older than TJ, however, between us, it’s always felt like we’ve only been a few years apart. Our bond is that strong.

And he’s one out of the five boys who can really get me upset when he’s out of line. The other is our youngest brother. For some reason, these two and I are linked solidly, and the links of our chain cannot be removed easily.

Sometimes I do have to encourage her to pack her things and set up residence elsewhere, but it was early yet.


He told me he is shy when meeting new people or even trying to approach them as well, and this floored me. My brother has had some challenges, and being a young father is one of them. In my mind, the battles with loneliness or trying to boost one’s confidence cannot overthrow him.

But it can. And it has. And I wonder how many times has he wanted to talk about this but decided against it? How many times has he wanted to just talk about being lonely regardless of the love surrounding him, and felt as though it would fall on deaf ears? At the end of our conversation, we agreed I would have to attempt to be more open to new people, and he would as well.

And this did not bat off loneliness. No, she still stood strong in her stance, defiant and stubborn. But now I have a reason to believe I can kick her out earlier than I normally would. I can advise her to seek another place of refuge; this mind does not have room and will not spare its vacancy for the likes of her.

I will not allow loneliness to sit idly along with the marks of my time, waiting for the best opportunity to pummel me into submission. I will devise plans and invent ways of booting her from entry before she settles in. I can . . . I can do this.

I tell my brother I will speak to my therapist about social anxiety and the loops I have been experiencing lately. He agrees this is the best thing to do; that every step I take will get me closer to where I need to be. And I tell him I am here for him — his sounding board for when loneliness wants nothing but a stabbing chance at his heart. He knows. He says he knows.

I can advise her to seek another place of refuge; this mind does not have room and will but spare its vacancy for the likes of her.

So, the next time loneliness attempts to high-step into the peacefulness I have arranged for myself, I’ll tell her this room is full. I’ll hang up the no vacancy sign and show her the door.

She won’t get in if I don’t hand her the keys.


Originally published in Age of Empathy via Medium



Musical Selection: Erykah Badu, Bag Lady

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Serenity (For Nala)

Nala, sleeping peacefully. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

You will always be unmatched.
No other dog will come into
this Auntie’s heart the way you did.
You wrecking-balled your way
through–adamant about what
was necessary for your comfort.

Jernee hooked herself onto you
and wouldn’t let go.
She had to be around you and
follow your every move.
The jealous one hated to share
my lap but when you visited,
that’s where you found rest.
She had to get over it.

You claimed my empty guestroom
as your own, spending countless
moments of solitude with its space.
I never had to search for you,
I knew that’s where you were.
“You will be missed” doesn’t
say enough. It cannot say
all that I need it to say.

How do I tell Jernee?
What will be her reaction the next
time we visit your Mommy?
Will the silence deafen her?
Will she look for traces of you,
ever-vigilant to find them?
I don’t want to know what
this world is without the care
and comfort of a dog.

I’m glad you held time as
long as you could.
Warrior-dog, sassy and sweet,
and a safe space.
Serenity rained from your paws,
and we quickly understood the
beauty of Boston Terriers.

Oh, Nala, I don’t want you to
let go of my heart, but
I’ll have to find peace knowing
the skies opened up to
welcome a fur angel.

Rest well, pretty girl.


**Last night, Wednesday, September 22, 2021, my best friend had to put Nala down. This sweet girl had been fighting her hardest for the last three years to continue living. However, she had a seizure and was rushed to the emergency vet. It was there, the decision was made to let this sweet baby go. Those of you who have followed me for years know both Nala and Jernee as Double Trouble and I am surely going to miss her. Words cannot express how much, they simply cannot. Thank you for reading.

If I Blink, He Disappears


I want to tell him that the days of us
growing together sneak up on me
at times — unexpected. I still love him.
I find myself searching through 
old arguments to see where we 
missed the point of clarity.
How did we not understand what
was right in front of us?

I have gray hair in places unthinkable — 
everything is aging and I’ve lost 
my way from him. I thought,
I couldn’t catch up to him — 
he wasn’t my speed. I ran
and ran and ran and kicked up 
dust in three different States, yet
we never saw eye to eye.

If I blink, he disappears. 
I want to hold on to the memories
of us for as long as my chest
heaves up and down and as far
as my legs will carry me, but time
is no longer of the essence.

Everything is aging.
I find myself searching through 
old arguments to see where we 
missed the point of clarity.
Our wrinkles tell the story of us
and the past lives we’ve lived.
He is still my fantasy unfulfilled,
my wants go unnoticed.
Should I tell him my heart 
still has space for him?

A friend of mine said she 
hopes one day I meet someone
because I’m such a great human. 
But am I, though? Is there something missing?
Something that could make me more?
I struggle with these questions — 
these questions of me and who
I was and who I should be.

If I blink, he disappears.
I want to tell him that the days of us
growing together sneak up on me
at times — unexpected. I still love him.
I do. I wonder if he knows this.
Should I tell him?


Originally published in soliloque via Medium.


Musical Selection: Luther Vandross|Better Love

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