Who can regret the chill of the wind and the smell of the air in the spring when the sun sets? I love it when the heavens bleeds crimson with splashes of leftover daylight prophesying hints of yellow like screaming oracles; burnt orange clouds cementing inside the belly of the sky. The way that birds defy the darkness to find refuge in the path of light, soaring on the backs of colors like they were some tangible thing and beige highlights swinging low like sweet chariots. Even the wind rejoices in the shadows of the rest of the sunlight bouncing off the concrete, hoping to capture as much of its essence as possible before it retires into its chamber. Whether you’re driving home from work or sitting on the front porch mesmerized by the cool wind, the silence of nightfall and the sky, it’s the little things that bring calm. Let it fill your empty. Turn your distress into dancing, solemn into singing. Good night.
I come from a place where twitching mouths and search for the white stuff on the floor is protocol. A place where the White Gods ruled, food stamps sacrificed to glass pipes and crack is the answer to every question and yet, I don’t plan to leave any of them behind. Not the government cheese, hand-me-down clothing or the streets chalked with junkies. I ain’t nobody special so if I can be healed they can too, if they choose. I won’t miss a trip to Egypt or beautiful Germany (I almost went one time..bummer that it didn’t work out). I can be found quoting the likes of Whitman, Dickinson, or Frost and I think Rainer Maria Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet is beautiful (even though his eyes look weird to me.) I’m a sucker for deep conversation, red wine, and education. I love to learn, pray, and study scripture. After all, what’s a beautiful woman whose mind is weak? I don’t mind walking into your fancy dinners either just as long as you’re paying for the plate. I hate the spotlight, true (though I will stand by my word). Shy most definitely. You can have the credit. I’ll wait and speak when the time is right because I’m kind but not weak and humble but not timid. Don’t box me in. My overcoming is a bridge for all people, not a closed door. Two Xs and no spaces except the one I found outside the box. No boxes please.
Can I cradle you in the nook of my arms? If you were here, would you let me? Hold you I mean? I don’t just want a hug. I want to hold you so we cry together. Kiss the top of your forehead like a mother would. On the shoulder of comfort, let your tears drench my shirt and I will love you like an infant. Can these words hold your head up? I do not want the soft spot of your pain to blemish the fragile newness of the warrior you are becoming. Your critics will look at what you are, but I see what you can become. But you’ve got to let me do my job. Let me hold you. Cradle you in my arms. This is not a blog. Not today. Today this is air. This is breath. This is the permission to breathe. This is words wooing lullabies for the exhausted spirits of the broken.
Pay attention to your dreams, for they say the subconscious never sleeps. That eyelids bow the soul’s curtsy, a closed curtain for the eyeballs that awaken when the body shuts down. Bodies that die so that the mind may live. Your eyes move freely in the darkness. The random eye movement of fluttering skin in the heart of dreams. The spirit waits for the exhaustion of the soul so that it may move about amid visions we tell when we wake up. The subconscious self that stutters while we sleep, taking notes and collecting memories from the storage space of the mind. Peeling back the deception of the beautifully crafted language we birth when the spirit’s not present. Showing them for the nightmares they are when masks fall, and demons manifest our truths in the depths of our minds and in the visions that awaken when eyelids bow in the heart of dreams.
There’s a lot going on in the world right now so I sit here wondering what to write to you, bathed in solitude and fishing for a thought. Let the noisy silence of second hands and chirping birds lend me the inspiration needed to write. Let the calm of the rain suicide its face onto my windowsill, onto shingled rooftops, ripping puddles or perhaps it’ll just melt itself into the concrete. Have you ever just sat back and listened to silence? It is hypocritically noisy. I can hear the laughter of locust and the singing of birds as they intercourse themselves into the wind. This noisy wind. It whistles and shouts and spreads its hum across the troposphere just silent enough for us not to notice amidst the growling of car engines and groaning of electricity. If you listen closely enough you’ll hear angels sing. The language of angels is in the wind. Give me not the physical right now. Not the booming lyric of music, or the chatter of distraction. Give me focus and attention so I may snag a thought from the roaring voices of spirit and of memory hanging from the pictures on my wall. We are familiar with the sound of noise, but not the noise of silence. Not the tickle of an idea brushing past our thoughts or the seductive wooing of trees to wind. The giggling fabric against the windowsill. The peaceful lullabies of daylight. Indeed, nature has its way of suckering us out of quiet, but what a wonderful stillness.
He is the invisible man. His strength a hushed whisper overshadowed by feminism or the piercing pain in her song. Scattered notes torn in half with thoughts unspoken and slavery chords not so easily broken. The patent leather image of mama and the broken-down brotherhood of papa. I know only because it’s painted on the palms of his hands where oppression carved her words of degradation in his face. This invisible man. This King without a throne. This sovereign without a scepter. This hero without a robe. This waiting beacon of royalty with nothing to rule, waiting in the wings of Eagles. I can see it in his eyes, the invisible tears. They say men aren’t supposed to cry so he is bottled fury. I can smell rage in the language of his captivity, the walk in his stride, and the hustle in his teeth when he smiles but dear King, today is your day. This morning, over cups of coffee and spoken words I will sing for you. You are important today. You are acknowledged today. Today the brotherhood reigns; I give you the permission to rule from my pen.
Endurance, the prominence, comes like a splashing dose of faith. Like scars praising the scarlet letters on my skin. As if strength poured forth from the sky and left its prophecies etched on the calcium of my bones. It’s courage far braver than purple hearts or bleeding pens on the white paper of a soldier’s goodbye. Like a car accident that knocks me off my feet but does not kill me, I get it. Nineteen years later the irony of life and death finds itself a home in this house of poetry.