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A Letter to a Friend

Letter to a Friend

My friend,

We have lived inside this world,

a graying cylinder of glass

housing fractured tenants.

We are young; something of twenty still resonates

in the handprints we left on the walls.

But we are growing old

with every glimpse of life—

we are growing afraid

of our lengthening shadows.

We saw our parents naked in the dark

and in our hearts, we walked backwards.

We commune over bitter bread,

tasting bitterness with each tearful bite,

tasting their brokenness and our own.

We cannot heal this wound

without entering into the darkness of our souls,

with our eyes

twinkling like stars

to cast it out.

Even then, we will be surprised

at the hope that can be born out of grief

and the colors that are discovered

on the underside of ourselves.

I Want a Soul

I Want a Soul

I want a soul

That I can walk around in.

I want to play sardines.

To hide myself in all kinds of places and join it there

As more of myself comes from all different corners of the dark

into the place where I hid away.

I want a soul

That I can share.

I want to bake it in the oven

until it blows up nice and warm, cocoa butter brown,

lightly buttered,

ready to be eaten by all who make it their place to have a place at my table.

I want a soul

That I can give away.

I want to dump it in the offering basket,

and the homeless woman’s hand,

and the shuddering child’s pocket,

and the white person’s skin.

I want a soul

That I can live with

and die with.

And everything in between.

Going to the Garden in the Ghetto

We go there in two

Hands extended before us catching raindrops

Hands elevated above us slapping praises back down

We aren’t afraid to dance

We aren’t afraid to sing

We have bold bodies

Bold and boisterous and beautiful

My mouth is a pail watering the earth

I lean down close to the rich soil

My lips open

I pour out my gift into its open hands

extended and catching raindrops

My heart opens

I pour out my love into its waiting arms

extended and holding me

It envelops me.

Disappearing

Disa_p__r___.

infant lungs

stuck inside a full grown body,

screaming to be heard above

the cacophany of distractions raging

from sea to shining sea.

The children are so used to being

overlooked and overheard

that now they are said to be

disa_p__r___.

Color Me

Color Me,

Or,

How I Was Conceived and Born in One Day,

Or,

Like I Was Meant to Be

Come color me,

I said,

arms open,

eyes big.

Come run me through your brain.

You smiled and held my hand,

teaching me to trace myself freely from your outline.

You piled me inside your palette,

You spread me across your lap like I was meant to be

woven into your thighs.

I give you warmth?

You smiled and held me close,

teaching me to warm the world with my soul.

You placed me inside your lantern,

And hung me from that starry place.

You gave me a name like I was meant to be

a word.

I give you birth?

You smiled and drew me from your womb,

teaching me to bring life out of my most inward parts.

You placed me inside this world,

You spread parts of my souls across the earth like I was meant to be

me.

Brave Soul

Brave Soul

Oh, brave soul that you are,

Never to afraid to come to me in your nakedness.

Never afraid to come to me in your black skin.

Oh, brave soul that you are,

Never afraid to tell me all your secrets,

Never afraid to tell me that you love me.

Oh, brave soul,

I am not so brave.

I am quite afraid.

I am often ashamed of my nakedness…

of my blackness.

Oh, brave soul,

I am always fighting to speak,

Warding off demons with the love that wets your words.

And Then I W[a]ondered

And Then I W_ondered

[a]

I called to you,

it was only a whisper,

but you managed to respond

lower,

still.

and then I wondered

if your response came before my call.

in my whisper

I asked to be made.

“form me, shape me, just like this!”

I held up my hand drawn self.

but you managed to make me

better,

still.

and then I wondered

if my hand drawing was yours.

my hand drawn self

wandered around the earth

to the end of myself.

and at the end of myself I wandered

into you

at the end of the earth.

and you were still more.

and then I wondered

at how big you be.