what it looks like from here
Life is lonely as a conduit.
Everybody thinking they love you because you got answers flowing through you.
Because you see them in a world where nobody ain’t too fond of looking anybody in the eye,
It’s lonely being a river that flows in two directions.
Everybody love your water ‘til they’re whisked away
And it’s your fault
for being a river in the first place
Even when you posted signs.
And told them,
When they got too close
To touching ground in the deep, rushing end
And you had to look at them sternly
“Be careful. I don’t play.”
Everybody got shit they want you to pull out of your chest for them:
“Won’t you go deep in that raspy spot behind that lung and let me know who’s gon’ win the game tonight?”
Everybody see your light and only want to play it.
Only want to use it ‘til it’s darkness.
Only want to take it.
Take it as an invitation.
Then complain about the fire going out
When they didn’t put no wood in the pile.
Life as a myth is tired.
I spend my days too big to fit indoors.
Up on a high hill,
To the tired and tried prayers of men
With imprints in their knees.
I’m not supposed to tell them,
“That they wouldn’t have to be kneeling all the damn time if they dared do right by anybody but themselves”
But I be thinking it.
I spend my nights with my feet up.
Burping and picking my teeth
With their sorry offerings.
I bet if you weren’t supposed to live,
You’d be hungry enough to gnaw at the
Of sorry men,
Living under the ground as several severed parts can be exhausting.
Some days my head
can’t even open my eyes.
Some days my fingers twittle
And I feel something
Maybe my other hand,
turning over soil in my palm.
And my ears can almost hear
the kiki-ing of my toes
finding each other
“I think I can feel it,
Can you feel it?
I think I’m feeling it.
I used to walk
on top of the street,
before I was a cautionary tale.
I used to wear what I wanted
And not answer to,
“AYE, AYE MAMI—YOU WITH THE LEGS”
from across the street.
I was baaaaaaaaaad.
Bad meaning good.
There was many a story
Told about me.
Ones where I ate men whole,
Where I smoked
and peed standing up
and sang at the table
and ain’t cover my mouth when I smiled
and led us all to freedom.
And raised hell with two
And didn’t have the baby.
And couldn’t have the baby.
And let my hair grow,
until my locs turned to snakes.
And fed a million children
by way of miracle making,
(with no thanks).
And cured five million people of polio
And was still buried
in a shallow grave.
They got plenty of stories about me.
But they never get my laugh right.
And every few decades,
when they dig up a piece of me,
they never bother to be curious enough
to match one side of me with
They got plenty stories about me.
But ain’t nobody ever asked me which one was my favorite.
They never let me choose.
Even though I end up dead in all of them.