National Poetry Month – 4


Your truth is a stone the color of West African dust that hangs from your neck, swinging from nipple to nipple, keeping time as you survey this city you call a home.

Your truth is a lover whose forehead you kiss each night as you tuck her in beside you, pulling her warmth closer, nestling your cheek into her crooks and curves.

Your truth is a leather-bound book you hold squarely in your palms each morning, filled with words already carved into your tongue, whose meaning you have meditated on and become one with.

Your truth is a dance that you cannot remember learning and cannot forget, a rhythm with the force of gravity that pulls your heels into the floor and rocks your hips with the ebb and flow of an easy wave.

And for this reason I find myself numb once in your presence; have difficulty seeking words honest enough to rise up and meet yours; have to strain to keep my face from tensing up into a confused half-smile.

You see, I keep my truth stuffed deep down in my back pocket during the day and locked securely in my dresser at night. In the morning I swallow other people’s truths, feel things I once heard done or said ease uncomfortably down my throat. And when I move, there’s a constant uncertainty to my steps and an uneasiness in my shoulders.

Your breath is soil.
My skin is cellophane.
I’m not ready to get dirty.
I’m not ready for you.