We camped at Narrow Neck
despite your anxiety, how the nerves
each time you go outside.
I tell myself it doesn’t matter if it’s just
You and Me. Such lovely lies.
A campfire with your warmth
melts the heart. The Marshmallow Man
you become. &
under the blanket sky, shooting stars flare
& with it a secret wish.
I teach you how
it takes eight minutes for the sun’s light
to reach earth & how the twinkling stars
you see could be dead red giants, breathless
nebulae. & you toss & turn in our tent, peer
at me with frosted lips & tell me you’ll never
see the stars the same way again.
LOUD BLACK WOMAN
the path to fame is rocky, filled
with uncertainty and doubt.
one writer I know was an overnight
success. she shot to stardom
when her book gained critical
acclaim. not because she was black,
or a migrant or louder than
everyone else. but because she had
something to say, which was something
no one had said before, or if it had,
nobody noticed. and what she said,
resonated with masses. she was proud
to be black, like it was something
she had a real choice over, like it was
in her control. if she could choose to be
born black or white, do you think she would
prefer fame over privilege? to be known as the
Loudest Black Woman, disgruntled about her class,
writing polemics for equality. would we measure
her with the same yardstick as we measure
ourselves? or would we play fair and treat her
the same? would fame be a thing then
in a society devoid of race. would she be
just another one of us.
Mind that hate,
live in my jealousy
of insecure bricks. Come inside,
let my malice haunt your sordid
affairs. Warm up my fear,
throw rocks at
my cheating heart. Careful with
my masculinity—I am hyper with
greed, craving attention you seek.
Listen to my rhetoric. I am otherwise
the champion of your soul.