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i write about you | a poem

i write about you
intermittently
somewhere
in between consciousness
i remember fuzzy feelings
wondering whether it’s time enough
for you to love me
to make sure my stiff heart now dusted down
pumps in beats that are echoed somewhere within the cage that
holds your heart
i love too strong
in breaths like sighs
in whispers passing wind
in cracks of fireworks
and city-wide carnivals
i love in sweaty moments of indiscretion
in the unity of perfectly laced shoes
in tiny hands that need to grip thumbs
love me in odd places solitary spaces
spaces that invite
rather than leave unrequited affections
for ruled gray lines of spiraled loose-leaf
ramadan

Call to Prayers: The End of Ramadan

I wrote this piece in May 2011, as I watched Muslim faithfuls convene to pray in Abuja.  It was inspiring to observe, be caught in the middle of, and document.  The post has also been featured in Pamay Bassey’s My 52 Weeks of Worship Project. Every time I revisit this piece, I am aggressively attempting to edit it. I begin to, but I don’t. I wrote this in a very particular voice; it might be just what it is to keep it this way. Nevertheless – 
Eid Mubarak!

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other side of the mirror | a poem

look at me looking at you
mocking my smirk, reflecting my teeth
exposing a body of vanity
exposing a body of insecurity
let bathroom lights catch only my good side
the three of the four that manage to stay lit
this is the skin chosen for me
large illuminating eyes
newly discovered birthmark 
nose i learned to live with as a moody teen
cheekbones that stand proudly: gifted from my mother
abdomen that mocks the look of toning
childhood scars, an inherited browning over time
ingredients laid bare in front of –
me looking at you looking at me

#MusicMondays | “Y’all Feel That?” by BamaLoveSoul

Y’all know about @BamaLoveSoul? No? Well, lemme put you on. Once upon a time, way back in my college years, I stumbled on BamaLoveSoul. For the life of me, I cannot remember how I found their work. They describe themselves as a movement to change the narrative and public perception of what Alabama music is like. In fact, the “website has become to “Go To Spot” for exposure to new and alternative music, as well as old tunes that you may have missed“. My college days were spent discovering hip hop, American blackness, Def Poetry Jam, the Black Panthers, and womanism. Perhaps then, this is not entirely a stretch that an Alabama movement found me in the Hecht dorms of Miami’s most beautiful college campus. Nevertheless, I have had this Badu Remix playlist saved as a bookmark for at least an entire decade (omg!). I regret nothing. The entire playlist has held up beautifully and it’s about to become my #Summer16 soul soundtrack!

Y’all, go through your internet bookmarks every few years. The tucked away memories that may have evolved to become part of your identity might just emerge to remind you of specific sensibilities you once held. Worth remembering. Dude, you’re welcome.

Track list:
JBmBeatz – Texas Tea (The Badu Medley)
Beat Attic – Incense & Brandy
School of Rock – Apple Tree
Soldier (simon S Remix)
Soldier (Gudina’s I Can’t Believe It’s NOt BUtter Flip)
Love of My Life (Jack Smith Remix)
Bag Lady (Salah Ananse Transatlantic Soul Mix)
Southern Girl (Opolopo remix)
Southern Girl (Moonshine Remix)
oriJanus – 21 Feet Tall
The Light (Cornbread Remix)
Real Thing (Marvel Remix)
Warren Xclnce x Ohforeal! – Tmrrw x Ystrdy
Robert Glasper – Afro Blue (AnuTheGIANT Remix) feat Erykah Badu
Robert Glasper – Afro Blue (9th Wonder’s Blue Light Basement Remix) feat Phonte
Honey (Souled Remix)
Cleva (Captain Planet Remix)
I Want Moombah (J Boogie 12″ Edit)
Sometimes (Manmademusic More ooft Edit)
Drama (Manuel Riccardi Deep mix)
Window Seat (Boddhi Satva Ancestral Soul Remix)
In LOve With U (Steva’s Basement Mix)
Bump (Soul1LDN Classic Remix)
Next Lifetime (Deluxepusher Dub)
Tyrone (Ain’t My Style) (The Main Ingredient Remix)
Bjork vs Badu – Come to Me / Bag Lady
Bare Beats + Stray Dog – Kiss Me On My Neck
On & On (Sid Mercutio Cover)
Jchu – No Love
Yessiree!

Tears. #Orlando

Tears will not come to me
I fight them. For shame. I fight them.
When the faces of the innocent roll like tape
And the wake of their memory are desperate phone calls
Amidst shells of screams, and mothers who scream back miles away.
Hot coals in the hands. Hot flames on the breath.
Life is snatched; a bloody breath in darkness
Reverie joy becoming the nightmare no one can dream
No one can dream
My tears are meaningless in their testament
Because I am angry. More than anything. I am angry.
The cocktail of human failure fails us all
It is the unsuspecting who pay the toll
What a fucking waste. What a fucking curse.
What hell on earth we all partake in.
How we continue to deny each other, while we share this same planet.
Tears stifled by the purest rage
And the roll of tape faces leave saltine rivers.
In the all the pieces the mortal body left across the floor
May souls find the rest in the peace they deserve
And when I cry, they are not my own.
They are for you, my dear, because I cannot cry.
The heart cannot take it.
Rest easy, I pray.