Voyage (NaPoMo 11)

Soon, you will launch your coracle
to carry a single candle-flame
into a hurricane. Your blindness is a mercy:
you cannot see the piling blue-grey thunderheads
conspiring beyond the planet’s curve, and so-
or, both knowing you and praying, still-
you trust your Navigator, and therefore
so must I. So while the sun-days last,
while the biggest waves that rock you
are only cradle-touches, I
will make myself your prudent deck-hand,
stock your craft with all that may, in time,
be needed for your errand in the dark.

O dear one, Lucy’s bravest daughter,
I do not know what gales may rage against you
or how the lion’s breath may roar
seeking to devour your candle-light.
I know only that when the darkness is complete,
the smallest light is piercing.

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Exposure (NaPoMo 9)

She lays herself out
on the stone, showing
her belly, her thighs:
See me, she cries
to a billion inert ties,
and the shutter sound plays
a arms’ length away
through the tremulous space
of an absent embrace.

This is my body.
I give it for you.

She peers down at her belly,
folds over the skin
she thinks she will pierce,
to imagine the glint
that could catch the sun
in her selfie.

For you, I was pierced.
I poured out my self.

She tugs at her hems,
rolls up her cuffs,
to worship the sun
with each inch of herself,
hoping it might be enough.

Let me be enough.

War Cry (NaPoMo 7)

Don’t touch.

I am this body
and you do not own it.
This is my body
and you have no rights to it.

Don’t tell me
my hair would look pretty this way.

Don’t say
don’t worry, it’s fine, you’re not gay.

Don’t tell me
you love my x, y, and z.

Don’t say
you only meant to compliment me.

That is your body,
your responsibility.
You are that body;
what are you gonna be?

Hands up.

Talitha Rising (NaPoMo 5)

The sparrow lays haphazard nests, bundling herself
into the hostile places: concrete edges, cracks in masonry,
the unregarded rusty backs and undersides of things,
wherever man has left his mark but has not left his love.

From these rag-tag scraps of homes, she watches, keeping vigil,
until rising to an instinct born of faith, not observation,
she faces down the dark to declare the coming dawn,
shattering the silence with her one sharp chirp.

Blast Radius (NaPoMo 4)

You ran up to me today,
waved me in, whispered for me,
called me close, leaned in,
and shouted at me: BOOM.

You were born with a pressure in you,
a drumbeat that itches and drives you to dance.
All the routes you take are parkour courses.
All the shoes you own are running shoes.

You sprint like a robber through the junkyard of your journal,
surfing jagged waves of the trash-compacted letters,
blocks of story crammed together in the fury of creation,
top to bottom, edge to edge, not a break, not a breath,
scribbling with the pinhole-skinny focus of the genius,
single-minded agonizing rapid manic joy.

You have seen the pool of life and reckoned
that the only worthwhile way of getting in
is to cannonball from 15 meters up. 

Dunkelvolk (NaPoMo 2)

Can you read it?

from the German on your T-shirt from Peru

Can you read it?

in the silence that you keep tucked in close around you

Can you read it?

in the bones that you flash when I tell you
Dark folk

Black people

Dark people

Black People

Dunkelvolk
Can you read it?

in your focus as the bodies hit the water

Can you read it?

as the naming of the monsters gave you power

Can you read it?

in the pride, in the joy when you discover
Dark folk

Black people

Dark people

Black People

Dunkelvolk