Next Crush

When she 
pretends to fall off 
the monkeybars, 
fabricates this scene
of disparity
to host your intro
as her hero, 
only to broadcast
that you have the cooties 
to every child present
after helping her up…

When he
writes you love letters so sweet
that your heart starts to
beat in Maple
and pulse in syrup, 
only for him to deny
that you aren’t his French vanilla
in the company
of “masculinity…” 

When she looks at you, 
eyes you down 
with disdain, 
disapproval leaking 
from the ceiling 
of her tolerance 
while you think 
you’re on the cusp of giving 
the world’s best 
best man’s speech… 

When he conveniently 
“forgets”
to introduce you 
as his better half
to his “she’s just a friend,” 
laughs it off 
in dismissive fashion 
as if your feelings 
were rations it’d be irrational 
to throw a war over…

When she sobers up 
after drunk texting you
her heart’s confessions
only to chalk it up
to a cup too many,
a will too weak… 

When honest conversations 
cease to arrest their attention.

When your weekend 
starts to feel like 
a merry-go-round of clubs
you’ve already seen enough of. 

When you find yourself questioning
why are you even here? 
What do you love about him
that keeps you around? 
What do you admire about her
that fuels your fire
to try to make things work? 

Step One: Self-assess. 
Never sit for a meal
where you’ve set the table, 
prepped the appetizers, 
main course AND dessert 
yet still expected 
to clean up after. 

Step Two: Re-evaluate. 
If this
wasn’t what you signed up for? 
Then do yourself a favor
and leave. 

Step Three: 
It really is that simple. 

Step Four:
Never stay
with someone who wants more
but is allergic to doing more. 

Step Five:
Remember, 
what made you feel alive. 
Remember, 
what about them sparked your flame. 
Remember, 
why he made you feel invincible. 
Remember, 
why you would go to war for her. 

Remember. 

Remember who you are,
that you’re priceless, 
worth going to war for, 
invincible, 
more than a flicker 
of flame dancing in rain. 
You are power, 
you are youth, 
you are beauty, 
you are truth. 

You. 
You are love so
drink
up. 
Get your heart
so drunk with yourself
that you get cited 
with a DUI while sober. 

Get your heart
beating itself in disbelief
for taking this long
to find you. 

Get your heart
unbroken enough
to breakdance
in front of your next crush and
may your next crush
be no other
than you. 

Doomed to Fail (aka DTF)

She said,
her optimism is dying daily.

Fading fast 
in the hands of men 
who love to touch 
but never buy, 
show interest 
solely to shy 
away from commitment, 
leave her questioning
if the price tag of her morals 
are indeed too steep.

How long 
will they attempt to convince her 
that her worth should be on clearance,
her dignity 
on layaway,
her mind 
filing for bankruptcy 
when they can’t manage 
to hold a deep conversation adequately.

They 
tell her she’s loved instead 
with the receipt of their words 
ready to purge 
every accountability of the verb. 
Their insurance, 
is an assurance to leave 
she receives with 100% guarantee, 
no questions asked
when “putting out” 
no longer warrants them to stay.

She says, 
her optimism is daily dying.

Dying in the womb 
of her next relationship
before she ever meets 
Mr. Next. 
You’ll call her cold, 
even with 
your fingers on her thermostat. 
When 
did you ever think 
“DTF” 
was an acceptable 
“pickup line?”

She’s telling you 
that she’s losing faith in us!

And I know 
you’re not listening
because the game is on, 
you’re not listening 
because you only tune her in 
during commercial breaks, 
you’re not listening 
because children stay silent 
when adults are speaking.

When YOU 
finally learn 
how to approach a woman, 
you’ll probably expire
before the occasion occurs, 
but if you don’t, 
“DTF”
will still be 
an inappropriate approach, 
your imagination 
will at large 
be unimaginative, 
at worst 
the rejections will embolden you 
to use it more, 
at best 
you’ll still be 
doomed to fail.

Dedication

This is for
the “weaker vessels,”
the “help meet” of man,
the life bearers,
for daddy’s little girl.

This is for she
who wears her inner beauty
with confidence,
despite being told that her skin
is a few letters shy
of attractive,
a few shades paler
than pretty,
her bra size:
a couple cups less
of voluptuous,
her figure:
a few dress sizes more
than beautiful,
seductive,
or sexy.

This is for she
who carries her body
as a temple for God,
denies entrance
to any infidel
that treats it as less;
who carries the recipe
for homemade vasectomies,
when push comes to shove
she’s not afraid to aim the axe
at the root
and serve his eggs
scrambled.

No, this is for she
who refuses to exchange digits
or her facebook
to book one night into her space;
who refuses to walk like a feline
to attract untrained,
no name,
debt-infested,
rejected dejects,
uncouth
excuse producing canines.

This is for she
who doesn’t answer to b****,
hoe,
slut,
hey mama, mamacita
or a whistle
to compliment some dude’s ego.

No this, is for she
who rather be single than taken
by someone who’s only in love
with the thought of being in love.

This is for she
who still bleeds
from a broken heart
from last Valentine’s day,
over Thanksgiving dinner
at his parent’s house,
on her birthday
after saying I love you
for the first time,
and meaning it.

See this,
this is for you,
who can’t seem to
hate him enough
to stop caring,
who loves him too much
to let go; even when
his apologies
are as empty as his promises;
this is only the  “n”-illionth time
you swear over your crossed heart
that you won’t give it away
to be crucified afresh,
to place it in his hands
only for him to
undue the stitches,
sever the sutures,
and cauterize
the vestige of heart left
to love someone else.

This, is for all the men
that failed you,
nailed you,
derailed you from
the independent woman
you still have a chance
to become.