Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bus Stop

I swear I can’t resist that smile
That becomes a smirk at the slightest
Challenge, whistling air escaping pursed lips
Right before you say
Man you must be crazy

You will never know the fantasies
You fuel with your walk
Hips that move to the rhythm of love
Making me forget you’re just waiting
For the bus licking your lips cause
You know I’m watching

But don’t mind me baby
That’s just the sound of me
Digging your vibe
I’m just a woman happy to share
This bus stop and this moment with you

Don’t mind me, that’s just the smell of me
Digging your flow
Maybe tomorrow I can share
A moment at this bus stop with you.


He couldn’t have known what I was praying for
When the doctors said that God cursed me
Because of my sin
And took my money anyway

He couldn’t have seen how it pained me
To walk or how I had to hide
My shame
For 12 years

He couldn’t have heard what the other women
Said about me
No longer having the good manners to whisper
That I’m a whore
And this is why my husband left
why my child died
why I’ve had this shame for 12 years

But he knew that I believed
When I touched him
And knew the
Shalom of God.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Pouting Over Coffee

I don’t know why but his pout always made me laugh. Not in his face, but away from his gaze I crack up just thinking of his protruding bottom lip and bowed head. Like no other he played the impatient child, bouncing from one emotion to the next and I sat still.

“I’m mad because you didn’t call me once, not one time all day. You never think of me. And I think of you every minute.”

I said nothing and reached for the coffee mugs that we bought in London last fall. I never put anything on the top shelf. I stood on my toes trying to touch the handle of the blue one. Failing, I exhaled, exasperated.

“What kept you so wrapped up that you couldn’t call me once?” He stood behind me and grabbed the mugs. Smiling and feeling vindicated because I needed him for something after all, he placed them on the table, the blue one for me, the red one for himself.

“I don’t know why you take it personally. I talk to you every morning and every night.”

“So, I guess that’s enough for you.”

For me, it was more than enough. His love was at once every color of a million rainbows and every shade the mind could conjure. I always assumed he’d burn himself out with such intensity. I expected him to lose interest, like a child might lose interest in a his new train set with the arrival of a new action figure, which doesn’t seem like much fun when the new video game comes, which is great until he remembers that he hasn’t played with his train in a long while. When he didn’t lose interest, I feared I might lose myself in such ever-present and consuming passion. It felt unnatural and dangerous, like base jumping or playing in traffic. Now I know that it is just his way.

“I know what it is,” he said. “You just don’t love me the way I love you.”

I ignored the statement. It was his favorite, engineered to make himself the martyr in our love affair that in his mind was just about to end. So I said, “The coffee’s ready,” and he got the milk. I poured coffee in his cup and then my own. He poured milk in my cup and then his own. I sat down and pushed the sugar toward him and he pushed the cinnamon toward me. We performed this coffee ritual, sacred, intimate and in perfect rhythm, every evening after dinner.

“You’re right, my love.”

“About what?”

“I don’t love you the way you love me.” And there it was his sweet and disarming pout. I smiled. He looked as if I kicked him in the gut and laughed about it. Laughed as he sunk breathless to his knees.

“You love me desperately,” I said. “And I love you certainly.”

We drank our coffee and we were silent for a long time.

When I Die

Dying is the hard part
To exhale every desire and dream
Every love and hate
Every memory and grudge.
Better it would be if
Death just comes
Like love
Surprising and complete
Then dying isn’t necessary.

Death itself is a mystery.

But I have hope
Hope that I’ll be free of all struggle
Hope that I’ll be greeted by my ancestors
Hope that Tupac still has voice
And an eternal rhyme
Background for a game of spades
That never ends.
And to those left to commit
What remains of me to earth
And memory
I don’t ask much of you.
Just that you keep it short.
Keep it sweet.
Let one saxophone play
Precious lord take my hand.
Let one person speak
And say only this:
She Loved.