I look at you and see my mortal leave
and my lover —
teeth and also your lips,
claws but also your hands, the palms
that showed me what could happen
if I just trusted and prayed.
I see all of the parts of you
that they see, and the reasons
they are too afraid to catch you
when you jump into their arms, we
are such a delicate balance of want and
need and fight
and
flail, it’s hard
to feel like feathers and
freedom could ever be the product
of our exponent

It might take the rest of our lives
to let this love stand
still, but I will wait
as long as you will
and if this kills me
I will have died for
you, they laugh when I tell them
that lions
are people too

Quote Iconi am a pen,
with a bullet in the chamber
i am a black boy
reading a book
about God.

i am a black boy
writing a book
about all of the times I’ve failed.

i am a sinner
standing on the corner
looking to the sky,
trying to carve a dream
from the clouds

i would give any of my things
to have anything
worth crying that i
cannot hold.
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Fight or Flight freewrite 7.1.14

the song
the guillotine sings sounds like
a wife returning to her husband
after a military tour. as she collides
with the hard hug of a chopping block,
she will give you
goosebumps big enough that
they seem they might sprout plume
and down — and you are only given
a choice to spread your wings, or
spread the bed:
accept today will be the first day
you have lived not followed by a tomorrow,
or that you’d rather stop spending
so much of your time looking
towards earth.

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freewrite 6.27.14

how many have
died trying to
save you from
the hurt you hold;

clutched close like
a wallet you can’t afford to lose
again because you barely survived
the last time you were robbed, like
a hand you won’t know how to
get home without;

clutched close like
your past is the only
person who will ever know
the real you?

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freewrite fragments 6.25.14

1) pull band-aids off quickly, let your skin hunger
for sunshine; stop acting like
you can hide wounds from God,

2) wear your scars proudly like
they are the
only novel you will ever finish writing

3) when you look in the mirror after the war,
you will not recognize your face —
your gums will bleed from having smiled
too hard into oncoming traffic and gunfire; from
chewing on the remnants of the glass house
you couldn’t protect from rolling stones,
trying to remember what peace tasted like

4) realize that you wouldn’t have changed a thing
because you loved her
rock and roll,
and her songs were always banquets
and your knotted stomach was a beggar
and even when there wasn’t a door to let you walk through
she split herself at her seamless
and wrapped herself around you
and apologized she couldn’t give more.

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Freewrite 6.23.14

sometimes i sit
elbows on my knees,
phone sandwiched between
hand and ear waiting for
the other end to small miracle her
voice into a psalm; i wish
prayers worked more like
microwaves, yet still fed
like your grandma’s hands,
she always seemed to be
at peace watching the
bone boil into proverbs like
deathbed confessions were dripping
from the marrow, said it ain’t right
to rush last words — I just
wanted more gravy.