But Will She Stay?

Or, Will He Go?

MUSICAL SELECTION|EMOTIONS: DON’T ASK MY NEIGHBOR

I did not budge. I was not going to call the cops because I have a fear of them now that cannot be described. I do not feel protected. I do not feel served. I would rather not have my mom and best friend collect my body from a holding cell at my local precinct because my conscience would not shut up.

But I listened . . .

I was having a relaxing bath, soaking my aching leg, while reading and it happened . . . A door slammed. Her trembling voice followed. His shortly after. It shook me awake from my jump into another world and I instantly knew what this was — an argument. My walls shook from the second slam of a door.

The bathroom walls are paper-thin. I silently prayed, “Lord, whatever is about to happen, please don’t let it be something that will make me call the cops.” My new neighbors found themselves in a twisted situation and this place is not kind to those disturbing the peace, but while things played out, it sounded as though they may have needed this to happen.

That may be an ass-backward statement, but what I mean by this is perhaps this thing could be the defining factor of their relationship — of if there will be a relationship after tonight. A woman’s voice when rattled can break you. If you have any peace in your spirit, you will feel every word falling from her lips.

“IF YOU WANT TO BE WITH ME, THEN SHOW ME!”

She was cry-shouting at him and she said this over and over again and I felt my heartbeat quicken and my hands began to shake. I had not been around a couple arguing in years and this stirred up a fear in me that I forgot existed. I wanted to cry, I felt like I was about to cry, but his voice powered through . . .

“I MOVED HERE FOR YOU!”

She did not back down. She yelled her testimony to him. She made her reasons known and the back and forth of it came right back to her original statement, “If you want to be with me, then show me!” He said something that made me cringe — that made me want to jump out of the tub, throw on some clothes, grab my steel bat, and call my cousins to let them know what was up, but I remembered who I am. It still did not stop me from tearing me apart when he said, “I AM A GROWN MOTHERFUCKIN’ MAN. I DON’T HAVE TO SHOW YOU SHIT.”

There was quiet. It became too quiet. The kind of quiet that shows itself right before the main event and I thought, “I have to make sure he does not hit her, that she does not attack him.” I had to wait it out. I know what a blow to the head sounds like by a closed fist. Or, how a back cracks when it’s slammed against a wall. I grew up in a home where violence was the frontrunner for many years until it was not. I had to be sure they did not physically hurt one another. But verbally . . .

The damage had been done.

It passed, like a storm . . . Like a kidney stone punching through one’s bowels shoving its way into the light. A mellow tune played, what sounded like another door gently closing introduced itself, and the night began to feel safe again.

I wonder if she will gather her things, relocate to wherever she ran away from, or if she will stay loyal — glued to his side. I wonder if he will step it up. If he will try harder, if he even needs to. I wonder if they know just how thin the bathroom walls are and how afraid I had gotten hoping and praying that I did not have to call the cops.

There will be that awkward meeting when we pass each other in the morning. That brief, knowing smile or head nod. No one will mention a thing and we will go on like it never happened. But I will look at her and I will know that her heart is breaking.

I will silently tell her that mine is too.


Originally published via Medium.

remora

Musical Selection: Cameo|Single Life

An Experiment

she is a budding blossom,
purple sunset on a red evening.
she sways her body to an unknown beat,
our heads bobbing to sounds we do not hear.

I sit back and watch her fearless eyes
oppose every caller who comes to steal her heart.
we are her audience,
she is giving us a show.
we’ve paid in advance and expect
an encore.

her hips circle the air,
sweet lips covered in blue,
cherry birthmark kissing crows feet — 
she’s wearing age confidently,
high-stepping on the moon’s nose,
leaving her mark.

we applaud her efforts,
the goddess falls from her pedestal
only to land near god.
her hands clasped in front of us — 
a plea?
no, she leads the lost to her
lying voice, twists our ankles when we stand,
and bellows beyond the void.

she is an obstacle,
the unclimbable mountain, and
every man’s ‘the one who got away.’
we stare at her, unable to move — 
transfixed
frozen
spellbound.


Originally published in The Junction via Medium.

No Road To Recovery

redcloakwoman
Closed Eyes|Odilon Redon — circa 1894

An Experimental Audio Micro-Poem

We have been stripped
of the lives we knew
 — thrown into
the lives we hate by
keepers who do not know
what it means to be kept.


Originally published in Other Doors via Medium.


*Author’s Note: The Powerhouse introduced The Handmaid’s Tale to me and I have found myself binge-watching every episode, trying not to let myself become too angry with each new dive into the “fictional” lives of women who have been stripped of the lives that they once knew and forced into the lives of those who want nothing more of them than “miracle babies.” I cannot fathom what it must feel like to be raped on a consistent schedule with empty rhetoric and twisted biblical scriptures as reputable reasons for their drastic and inconceivable ways of life decided by those in power or considered the “Upper Echelon” of the U.S. of A.What’s even scarier? It feels like we could be headed in that direction.

The Incredible Need To Be Wanted

And, How It Slowly Subsides When You Know You Should Want More From The One You Want To Want You.

Javier Ramos|Unsplash

I let the morning pass, sip on my Vanilla Mint herbal tea, steeped to perfection and I think briefly to myself, “Should I check on her again?” I am fighting with the left-side of my brain, trying to understand the logic behind “No us.” I am losing terribly. This is always a no-win battle, and I have the scars to prove it, but something in me won’t let the thought of loving her go. I tell myself that I have been defeated many times before, that I fight well, that the scars that I have earned are healing, but I want badly to have the opportunity to have them heal further while being with her. I know… I know, radical decisions are not usually my forte’, but for some reason, I can see myself nose-diving straight into her life and landing perfectly on my feet.

How do we control what cannot be controlled?

Therapy is teaching me many things, but it is not teaching me this. How does one silent one’s heart? How does one make it be quiet when the mind has everything sorted out? I ask myself again, “Should I check on her?” She disappears from time to time just as I do when life is far too much to handle and taking breaks are the best things to do on the menu of working too hard, but it has been too long and my first email attempt has gone unresponsive.

Respect the boundaries. Respect the boundaries. Respect the…

Something could be wrong, but all could be right too. It is pertinent in life to respect boundaries. If they have been set, established, and agreed upon, respect them. It does not take a genius to know that doing this will more than likely, work out in your favor in the end. What do I mean? You will surely get over it. It will take time, but you will. And thinking of her safety, her heart, her willingness to create beautifully in the sober hours of the night will reconnect with you, but at arm’s length. You will succumb to healing and your days will get better. You will tap into the mystery of you and learn more about yourself because your focus will be on “Letting her/him go.” Your focus will be on learning to know what it is you need from someone else because you’ve truly established what it is that you lack.

It is natural to be wanted, to be loved.

But, it is important to recognize when you are on a one-way street down a highway to hell where you are the only one loving the other. Recognize that, move on, leave the place as quickly as possible, because if you linger, you’ll lose more and more of yourself every single day and collecting your meaningful parts will be harder to recover. Today, I am learning what she cannot give me, bolding every item in the forefront of my mind, and understanding that I have what I need for this time in my life.

I can give me what I need, even what I want, it’s just going to take a little bit more time.