Fiction Friday: Treadmill

Bare feet pound against dry, cracked earth.
Each step leading to nowhere.
The horizon never changing.

Heartbeats pound against tight, stitched ribs.
Each pulse leading to the last.
The horizon too far to care.

Despair pounds against ever-waning hope.
Each second leading to the end.
The horizon stares on, aloof and distant.

Faith pounds against the impatient horizon.
Each thump a call to believe.
The horizon swells. The horizon cheers.

Fiction Friday: [Hearts Ablaze in Charm City]

Stockpiles of pain
Sit heavily on tear-stained chests.
Hearts smoldering for a lifetime
Under the banner of:
Less Than.

Fires are burning, but
far beyond, far deeper than
the images splashed
across television screens.

The stockpiles fanned
again and again,
finally sparked, ignited
In the hearts of
The oppressed.

‘Legitimate’ news sources
taken to task
by Twitter.
Citizen journalism broadcasting
truths that don't boost ratings.
Ensuring that the world:

And with each heart sparked
to action, to empathy,
another Less Than banner

I felt that it was important for me to share the birth of this poem. The other day I watched an interview between Wolf Blitzer and activist Deray McKesson. And although I pride myself on taking most broadcast news with a grain of salt, this particular interview really got to me for the following reasons: I have lived in Baltimore. I have friends and family in Baltimore. I'm a black woman. And I'm a human being. To blatantly attempt to goad someone into creating the sound bite that you want is not journalism. Trying to coerce someone to condemn the legitimate feelings of the oppressed is not journalism. Those family and friends I told you about? They were posting images and sending tweets about what the majority were doing. Coming together in crowds of hundreds, sometimes thousands to figure out how to bring the peace. How to talk to the children and make this a teachable moment. But, not only was I not seeing this on the news, here was Wolf only wanting to perpetuate the 'If it bleeds it leads' work ethic of the news industry. Angrier than I'd been in a long time, I created and posted the following graphic on Instagram along with the caption that follows it:

Above is what happened after I watched #WolfBlitzer's interview with #DerayMcKesson.

I lived in #Baltimore for 9 months while working on The Wire and what I learned about the people there was that they love their city. They're proud of their city. I shouldn't have to go to social media to get the whole story and to recognize the strong people I remember so well. Especially when people are getting pretty hefty paychecks under the guise of being fair and impartial. 

I am in no way condoning the violence or saying that it shouldn't be reported. What I am saying is that if you only tell 1/4 of a story it becomes a tale of fiction based on a partial truth. This systematic grooming of people's minds to believe that people of color, especially poor people of color, are all violent thugs is a problem on the national level. And it's a problem that will never get resolved until we are shown the whole picture. The good and the bad.

To are more than the picture they are painting. #StayStrong #Rebuild #TeachAndGrow

Fiction Friday: [As DIsquietude Flows Through Delta Waves]

“Close your eyes,” whispered the moon.
The words slid slick down its beam of white and I surrendered.
Falling deeper and deeper into the abyss, I grew
feather-light, airborne at the slightest sigh of a breeze.
The world fell quieter and quieter around me until
the silence thickened, hanging like a noose around my neck.
Thoughts gathered and swelled and I swayed
from a branch of worry and anxiety and events of the day.
Molecules solidified too quickly and
I longed to be weightless once again.
I longed to be light.
I longed for the light.
“Open your eyes,” whispered the sun. 
The words slid soothingly down its beam of yellow
and I surrendered.

Fiction Friday: [Frustrated Sympathy]

I found him in the shower.
His sobs mingled with the spray beating down on him
and escaped from between his knees
where his head was tucked.

He didn’t move when I turned the faucet off,
Didn’t flinch when I wrapped the towel around him. 

I sat on the edge of the tub.
Not saying a word.
Not because I didn’t know what to say,
but because I knew he wouldn’t want me to.

In an hour he’ll act like this never happened.
And I’ll play along as not to add to his embarrassment.

It was a tiring game.
A lesson yet to be learned.
That words were more freeing than tears.
But pride kept him tethered.

Pride, and believing the pain circled down the drain with his tears,
Erasing the memory of the time before.

And the time before. 

Fiction Friday: [I'm Still Here]

I hate the beeping.
I know I shouldn’t
since it’s a
constant reminder
that I’m alive.

But I do.
I do because
it also reminds me
that no one believes
I’m still here.

My mother visits.
She holds my hand,
but I know.
I know she thinks
I’m just a shell.

The lifeless body
of the daughter
she doesn’t know,
doesn’t realize,
is still here.

If she knew,
she wouldn’t
talk about
how close she is
to giving up hope.

She wouldn’t lament
over all the things
she never
had a chance
to tell me.

She would know
I heard her.
Every word. Every time.
Even over
the relentless beeping.

Fiction Friday: [Creative Freedom]


Letters fill my head,
Begging to become words,
Begging to be released.

They tickle my brain
Until I set them free.

They travel to my hands
And tingle at my fingertips,

Whether holding a pen
Or perched over keys.
They bubble and dance
With anticipation.

They scream to be free.
And I release them
Into the world

Because I know
That setting them free
Sets me free.