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.
So I left for a while,
I thought I’d be right back,
But life’s an airplane in motion
And I enjoy the flight,
But I came right to you once I touched down on the pavement,
Knew I’d see my name in your hand as you stood waiting.
I just knew you’d be waiting.
In a taxi to your place,
Your smile all in my head.
Remembering how soft your sheets are when we’re in your bed.
Thinking how hard we laughed when you burned up those biscuits,
How I put my hand on your cheek and said I would fix it.
Shouldn’t be hard to fix it.
Then I press your buzzer by the door,
When I hear your voice it sounds unsure.
Say you’ll meet me on the inside stairs
As if you’ve got something to hide up there.
What’s to hide in there?
When I finally see your face
Your smile is faintly traced
Just a slight embrace
I say I missed you
Ask if I can make us some tea
You say, “No, no, I’ve got company.”
Oh, well I can come back later
I’ll bring some wine.
You say, “No, no, it’s fine.
I’ll call later.”
As you part your door
Walk inside to leave
I catch a glimpse of blue
Color of the Aegean Sea.
It’s fresh and cool
Splashed across your wall.
The same accent we talked about at the end of your hall.
Always said when I moved in we’d paint it together.
But that was seasons ago,
Before the warm weather.
It’s been a long winter,
But I knew I had to leave.
Just can’t believe you’d paint without me
How could you paint blue without me?
(Definitely turning this one into a song – Copyrighted material people)
I just want to make you proud.
Give you a sunrise at which to marvel.
Plant the roots you watered deep and watch them sprout strong.
Be a tree whose shade you can rest under.
You’ve laid every brick on my path,
Using blood as mortar,
And I just wanna make you proud.
Watch your cheeks rise and swell with warmth,
See your eyes soft and wet, no longer afraid.
Tears of dignity.