Memories. 

Rows of white puffy cotton are beginning to peak out from the prickly clutches of the bud. I can see the anxiety on my faces as our hands get close to the buds. The quick pain of the prick is nothing compared to the lashing if the cotton is stained by blood. I can hear the songs mixing with the crack of the whip in the air. 

I see our fears. 

I see the trees closing in properties luring me to them. They reek of death and freedom. I can see myself running towards them, ignoring my own pleas to turn around.  Before I reach the end of my row I watch a bullet tear itself threw my chest. 

Tonight my body will be strung up on the trees to remind myself that death comes to those who dream. 

I fell for you years ago.

before I could pronounce it I was calling your name.

I read stories about us.

Watched movies with you and I in the leading roles.

I’ve tasted the temperature of milk for your son and

choked on tears at your wake.

You fell for me back then.

Saw the future in my eyes and felt at home in my skin.

You left something with me that you can’t find again.

I stole something from you without ever knowing.

We danced back then.

Kissed on long walks back then.

Now I watch us played out on stages all around me

wondering will I ever play the original again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thabit – an excerpt. 

She had seen much in her life-maybe too much; maybe she was too mythical to be thought of as real… even when she was engulfed by it she still observed from a far (Indeed a rare one was she) a stillness she knew not, and yet she knew to long for its presence, she knew to hold tight to things, but always seemed to grasp at irons that burnt her hands, pigs greased in oil escaped her; she lived in a world where all was temporary, the only thing permanent wher the simple strings she put to pads. She discovered string theory in the most unorthodox of ways, falling between the lines where complexity doth lie. Her favorite where the half planets that stuck between legible lines, read by men whose goal is to make pretty women cry and swoon, too oft lost among the dissonance she found peace. 

Una mayate por siempre. 

The other day I walked into a neighborhood restaurant. 

The soft, quick count of salsa wafting its way over flat grills and around containers of poco de gallo and into my ears mixed with the scent of perfectly seasoned carnitas. I ordered, grabbed my tamarind Jarritos and sat down. I heard some other patrons speaking Spanish, and heard little bits of their conversation. The delivery guy had recognized me from the other day, and pointed me out to them. A few moments passed, and the delivery man left while they continued. I felt a bit strange and noisy, so I went to pull out some headphones and give them privacy, when “pinche mayate” can spewing out of the patrons mouth like a venom, aimed straight for me. 

I felt it in slow motion. 

PINCHE MAYATE.

P I N C H E   M A Y A T E. 

PEEN – CHAY  MY – YAH – TAY. 

fucking nigger. 
I froze. I felt like google had hacked my brain and was now live translating. 
“Dude seriously? That’s not okay. I heard she speaks Spanish.”

“So what? I don’t care if she knows.”

“That’s so uncool, man.”

I sat there, stunned and speechless. There’s no way this just happened. 

I asked the employee if he too had heard the man. “Did he just call me a fucking nigger?” The boy shook his head, and with a pinch of relief I said, “oh okay sorry. I thought I just heard ‘pinche mayate.” My eyes caught the perpetrators, and immediately I was overcome with anger. He had said it and he had meant it. He was proud of it. Thrilled that his hurt had permeated through the skin he so hated, and had poisoned me. 

I could feel the dam behind my retinas splintering, and all I could focus on was escaping. I could feel my body trembling, and soon all I could see before me were blurs of the outside world, tinted red. I could feel it rolling around inside of my soul, quickly consuming the dopamine and serotonin I had laden myself with. I felt instantly less than. Instantly worthless and forgotten. I saw the flames of the cross that burned in my honor so long ago. I saw the police officers that harassed my mother and I. I saw the woods where they hung that man. I saw white coats and red flags with stars striped across its body. Two words reminding me that I am prey. 

I heard someway say “we weren’t even talking about race” in the street the other day. I say to that, therein lies the problem. If we are to truly understand our own neighbors, how can we force them to remove a piece of who they are? There has been a long history of discriminating against those with darker skin, at the command of the colonalizing country. Racism within oppressed countries has created a plague that teaches children it’s okay to hate. If the people who swapped blood via a whip can’t break free from the grasps of racism without talking about it, what makes you think the whipped and the whipper can be any different? 

I hadn’t done or said anything to those men to deserve to be demeaned and persecuted. They simply saw a dark girl and knew she had to be reminded that she will always be a pinche mayate.

Will you do the same? 

The truth of it. 

I hate when people say that truth is relative. I mean, I know it is but right now it doesn’t feel like it. 

Right now if feels like black and white and this time you’re wrong and this time the feeling’s way too strong and I guess I’ll just go along…

I’ve been broken for a while now. Sitting here on a shelf. The boys call me Eleanor.

——

I see the crash of whites and blues. I’m terrified. I grasp for safety and feel it slip through my fingers. 

——-

I’ve been softboiled, even a soft poke yokes me. 

Too long I’ve laid high on a hill with candy clear views. 

——

I tumble deeper into her. I am too weak to last here. 

——-

The sight of blood is too enticing. I dream of silver. 

I laid down in the Temple of Apollo and was scorched by his light.  I came to lay with ancient souls and was bruised by their smell. 

——

At this point I can no longer fight her. The dancing swirls of me are hypnotizing. 

I feel her tugging, pushing for me to let go. 

——-

I wish they knew my name. 

I want to return the face, but she is my truth now. 

I’ve forgotten how to hold on. 

The Unpopular Opinion. 

Black people. We need to stop encouraging the violent protestors in Baltimore. Now don’t get all uppity right now. We’ve all seen what can happen to one of us when the violence turns fatal. 

We need to be peaceful for us. For our safety. 

THE POLICE ARE NOT GOING TO GIVE US JUSTICE. 

We have to fight for our justice. We have to centralize our voice. We have to be on one accord in order to actually do anything. 

Now let me say this; I do understand why people are choosing to riot. I do not think it should have happened, but it did. Yes we shouldn’t have to defend ourselves, but we’re black, guys. Olivia Pope was not the first or last to hear the “you have to work twice as hard to be just as good,” lecture. 

Now white people, if you haven’t noticed this hasn’t really been about you. But I’m going to include you for a moment because I know deep down if I don’t you’ll complain about it and ask why I refuse to accept you and see you as a real person and that we’re all the same and shouldn’t see color but you still don’t understand why black people are upset. 

Other persons of color, I include you in my charge.  While our struggles aren’t the same you can replace “black” with “[insert race here]” because we share a past of oppression. We need to find the unity in our struggles and use that to change the world.