In a Burning Room 

Trust. 
I built her once. 

Cemented into her foundation 
was time well spent, 
patience, 
bloody knees well bent 
upon pavements
to plead my case
for a love that lied latent
for you. 

I prayed
for my emotions
not to be preyed upon. 
Prayed, 
for my heart’s strings
not to be played upon, 
for some
altar of a heart
I could be saved upon but,
I was wrong. 

Altars are made of stone
not to build faith upon. 
So how could I expect yours
to hold mine dear 
like a sacred song
full of promise,
full of truth.

If I’m honest, 
and I were you, 
I would’ve called it quits
from “Hello, 
how are you?” 
“I’m…?  
not interested, 
but thank you.” 

Truth is 
you would’ve still had me at
hell no, 
but at least
I could blame myself
for wanting to be the pyromaniac
trying to light
the nothingness between us,
for trying to be the flame
your wick of attention
would never give a flicker of notice. 

I guess
what I’m trying to say is:
there’d be no museum
of betrayed memories to walk through
if you 
had any appreciation
for the art of honesty. 

I hung portraits 
of my intentions
as tokens 
of every act towards you
so you’d already know
the inspiration
behind every stroke. 

Little did I know 
you had me painting
masterful illusions of our future;
permitted me to sell
these fanciful delusions
to those who only wished the best for us. 

Little did I know, 
the only image I ever sold
was solely of me
slow dancing
in a burning room. 

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She said…

She said,
she’s never been
held like this before but,
not verbally.

It was in the way her
hands glided up
and down,
gripping enticement.

The way her fingers
ghost walked
down the corridor of my spine,
flanked my sides,
continued the aerial assault
on my senses
with nothing pretentious.

I could tell,
even her shadow
wanted to be one with mine
with a union that cloned
our identities,
so seamlessly.

An amalgam
of mind
and flesh,
soul,
and breath,
heart
and chest;
a rhythm
we meshed
beautifully.

Somewhere
her inhibitions
lost their footing.
Her nails,
clawed for reasons
to let go,
found none
to drive her to safety
only satiety.

She converted my embrace
into home,
willingly placed herself
under house arrest
in my arms,
til she can trust
another’s touch
won’t leave her more judged
than justified,
more livid
than loved,
more broken
than she was found.

Move

Move. 

Contrary 
to your exclusive beliefs 
she doesn’t want to be 
a couple dressed in secrets,
clandestine companions
furtively in fashion
with all things pretty privy. 

Move.

She’s told you
on countless occasions 
to make your manifestations of love 
a little more obvious like:
you can at LEAST
change your FB status 
to taken now. 
I mean it’s only been… 

Move. 

Remember that convo
where her eyes 
uncapped the vials of her tears, 
poured them into your lap
in hopes of saturating 
some part of you
to squeeze into action?
Why does she always
have to plead 
for you to… 

Move. 

Oh, you said
you’re waiting for the right time? 
Seven years post intros,
five years of exclusivity,
three years of officially
making it verbally official,
and all that falls under
“still dating?”  
I wonder
if she know this? 

[Move]
She thought
you were building
something together. 
[Move..]
You must’ve thought
her patience was eternal. 
[MOVE…]
She thought
you were different.

Watched you flirt 
with commitment
to so many other things
other than her, 
that now she questions
why her shadow vows
to even stay.

She wasn’t 
holding out for perfection,
clearly. 
She didn’t beg you
to rescue her,
didn’t ask
if you’d buy her the moon
when your account
boasts of craters bigger
than that found upon it.
She didn’t even take
Beyoncé’s advice 
to force you to put a ring on it and yet, 
she was good to you. 

All she asks now is that you

Move… 

His Eye is On The Sparrow

When you discover
that every tear shed
will not purge you
of his memories;
that every fallen drop
isn’t equivalent
to the distance
he falls away from you;
that your
rain-forest eyes won’t reset
to detect a love
better felt than seen.

When you unearth the value
in your coarsest traits,
disassociate his appraisal of you
with his attention.
Your self-worth
has always been
independent
of his last name.

When you realize
your loyalty,
your commitment,
your efforts to
“stay the course”
while he detours
to another’s arms were all
to strengthen your knees
to kneel amidst the rocks
and find God
in the hardest of places.

When you realize
that every sip
of his rejection
is followed by the aftertaste
of finding yourself,
it’ll still taste bitter,
you’ll still want to chase it
with a gallon of whys.

It still won’t make you feel
any less used,
your time
no less wasted,
your love
no less abused.

But you
will love yourself better.
You’ll discover
that tears can indeed be for joy.
You’ll unearth
the precious,
the beautiful,
the richest
of jewels in you.

Most importantly,
you’ll flourish in his absence
when you’re alone
in His presence,
for His eyes
are always
on the sparrow.

Only Human

She has a switchblade
for a tongue on left days;
converts it into a
substitute for creamer
on right days
both
served ripe without reserve.

She’s been cursed
with a heart to love deeply
those who can’t;
blessed
to forgive deeper
those who won’t.

She’s been dressed
in more distress
than she can rehearse
how to heal in front of you.

She’s smiling
while her soul
continues to limp
on crutches.
Her ribcage
couldn’t protect her heart
from feeling so empty,
so exposed,
so vulnerable to trust
foreign hands not to fold
under the pressure
of a genuine friendship.

It’s not that she’s mean,
or sour,
nor any of its synonyms
for that matter but,
sometimes,
she too bleeds.
Sometimes,
she chooses to show her calluses
from trying so hard
to gain your acceptance,
your attention,
your love.

Sometimes,
she’s more human
than hero.
Sometimes,
salvation is masked
in surrender.
Maybe she too
forgets how to fly

Honestly

I think they said
we look good together;
wasn’t sure if it was in reference to:
our handmedown,
mismatched overalls that we wore as skin,
your long and layered
my short and wavy hair,
or that our hands held
could almost pass for the flyest jordans,
with your lighter
laced-like fingers gripped around mine;
so I’m
still not sure
if I should be offended or not.

I wish
I could believe them,
nod in agreement
like a bobblehead,
bouyant on waves of optimism,
but the pessimist in me
still holds grudges.

Honestly,
your compliments sometimes
reminds me of the days when
your ancestors declared it sin
to look upon a woman
shades lighter than my palms;
when they would’ve
bound our hands,
noose us on trees
as they tried to make
our whole race
Autumn like leaves,
but this is Spring
and there’ll be no Winter
to wither our love.

Just in Case You Forgot

You’re beautiful,
just in case
you might not feel like it.

Just in case,
he didn’t notice you were,
or his eyes
have defined beauty
to no longer look
homonymously like you.

Just in case,
it didn’t sound genuine
after you pointed out the fact that
you’re wearing one of his “favorites.”

Just in case,
it was meant
for the woman behind you,
beside you,
to the you
they mistook you for,
as if you aren’t worthy
of the compliment itself.

Just in case,
they sell you the lie
to hide behind makeup
to buy into their
campaign of acceptance.

You’re beautiful,
inside and out.
You’re beautiful,
without the filters.

Just in case you forget,
when no one else
seems to care or notice,
you are beautiful.