Author: Charleston Poets

The father-

He is the first man a girl learns to love. He protects and holds his daughter from hurt and pain, but what if he is the source of her pain. The restless night she lays awake wondering if in his befuddled state will he yell at her worse. School days she covers the scars, but what about the words, what about the internal scars. She seeks numbness in older boys longing to escape the pain of the source. School days she hears the whispers and she sees the looks, she gives it all up. If only he had protected her instead of being the source of her pain. Maybe that girl would be alive today.

In the wake of today’s wake my heart’s awakened

by the face of a boy holding a smile

although his father will never reciprocate

A cliché is a cliché

At least that’s what they say

A feeling only makes you feel

Some type of way

The trees sway, and sway

As the wind blows down the way

And the leaves take flight

Following the breeze

Down the breezeway

And the alliteration aligns 

With my emotions

This time

It all makes sense for once

But that’s a lie I

Tell myself

As I try to cry

To show myself that I

Understand something else

This thing,

Belongs to no man

Or woman or

Animal or

Plant

No such behavior has been exhibited by

A car or an ant

For I feel this feeling:

A cold touch (how cliché)

As if I’ve been swallowed

By the shadow of a ghost

A love lost

An undead host

A heart beats

Yet no blood flows

As I follow the shadow of a ghost

My hand sweats into my mother’s
Gripping her tightly as she mourns my brother

She sees his name printed on prayer cards stacked crisply on the porch
A framed photo stands in the same place
As my bridal portrait had two months before in the church reception hall

Pimento cheese sweats on lace lined tables
The ones with the dented legs that folded out that my mother found tacky

I told her we’d have to make some concessions
Bodies don’t keep.

It’s Not the Heat

It’s not the heat
It’s the humidity

Sticking soles of shoes to cement graveyards
Scattered with fried frogs and flattened flowers

It’s not the heat
It’s the humidity

Hair wild and witchy winding untamed
Worn with wilting wildflowers wound into crowns

It’s not the heat
It’s the humidity

Coronating us everglade empresses
Ending evenings with enchantments and incantations and elegies for our enemies

It’s not the heat
It’s the humidity

Sending storms sizzling across the swamps
Scaring spoiled sisters swarming for shelter in secret cypress sanctuaries

It’s not the heat
It’s the humidity

Driving dogs down deer-lined drives
Digging for dead girls and drug-fueled dalliances

It’s not the heat
It’s the humidity

Carrying our spells through lightning and thunder
To the cypress woods where you hid from the rain
When the men are in heat
Not just heat but humidity
Swimming through storms to find girls like you
Who’d been hexed by queens like us

It’s not the heat
It’s the humidity

My arms are spread wide on the cold pavement
as if I am asking for forgiveness from God above.
Blood leaks from my chest, my life suspended.

Have you ever seen a black man’s crucifixion? Just watch
the news, how the white chalk marks the spot where those black
thoughts once were alive but now a blackout, is the only
place any black man ever gets to see now.

Journaling captures my thoughts
like the event horizon of a black hole.
Otherwise the stardust of words
& particles of sentences would spiral around in my mind,
the chaos never subsiding & rest would –

Well, what is rest any way?

I’m grateful for the tether of my inner voice
which guides the pen in hand,
working in unison like Terra & Luna
capturing my thoughts once again to the event horizon—
compressing all wavelengths to a singular point.

It’s not that I shouldn’t, or couldn’t.
It’s what else would there be.
If it’s not now, then how could I see.
It’s there, I know.
Please, see, see.

And now here I am.
Alone but with you, but with it all.
Ah, it should be so fortunately me.
If it’s going to be what I want.
Can I make it.

And if I fall short,
I fall for you, with me.
It’s to there I want to see.
Its seeing that is believing.
Believe me.

Who do I think of when I think of you?
It feels. So Different.
Not you, not me.
What is that feeling?
Can I believe it?

How should it end?
What is it we think?
I think I feel something unique.
But then again,
It’s me.

Bird’s chirping, squirrels playing, nature’s natural order.
Ms. Ferguson should have today’s paper.

Tires screech, busses are filled with familiar faces.
Strands of grass wave in the distance.

Old timers play a game of chess in the park,
reminiscing on the bench where we played
I declare war.

Often I close my eyes
to calm my busy mind.
I sit and listen
to the melody of the Carolina Wren.

Running through the meadows till
we reach the top of the hill.

Hanging from the oak tree we don’t
want to be the first to let go.

Eye to eye here we stand;
under the tree’s shade we held hands.

Rocking back and forth in bliss;
the space is filled between our lips.

Often I close my eyes
to calm my busy mind.
I sit and listen
to the melody of the Carolina Wren.

Sweat and grime in our palms;
skipping stones across the pond.

Friends are gone when the sun goes
down;
It’s just you and me now.

Side by side on the dock of the bay
in awe of the milky way.

A cool breeze invites fond memories;
I wonder if she’s forgotten about me?

In his parents living room
He took on a fleet of pills
And survived.
He vividly remembers
Being afraid.

His innocence was surely
Tampered with from the
Outside world,
As an adolescent
He’s bullied by
His peers.

They seem to not
Like him.
He’s a nice guy
But he’s unattractive.

Encased in his bubble
He’s invisible to
The public.
A loner with an
Alter ego
He shuns his
Super powers –

Distancing himself
From
His values.

Crafting jokes for laughs
At his own
Expense –

It takes a toll
On the class
Clown.

A hanger on in search
Of his so called
Friends.

They’re nowhere to be found.


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