Posts for June 14, 2020


Sunday Brunch

They shuffle in with their crucifix necklaces
Breathing and exhaling pious wafts of air
Impatient to be seated
They didn’t hold the door open for the pregnant woman and her two small children
bibles first, they pushed their way through

The kind of folks who have scripture in their bios but post about the (insert minority group) invading their “Where’s my Merry Christmas Coffee Sleeve?!?” Starbucks.
The type to make a scene for their small army of white friends
Just to say, “you’re so pretty” to my son’s mother
Then casually use the n word around white-only company

These folks who feel uplifted by their own self-righteousness
Their reward is surely heaven
For posting a meme that tells their non-muslim friendlist how they haven’t forgot about Jesus

Jesus — he may have recieved a prayer in exchange for an instagram picture 
From our virtue posturing Christian neighbors

The type to give big in church when the congregation is watching

But only tips advice

At Sunday Brunch


‘Temporarily Unavailable’

In a last stab at acceptance  
of what is  or will be  I summon
an angel to allay my itches 
as two young blue jays perch
on a leafless limb. Beaks open 
wings twitching  they plead
that a feeding draw near. So
come back shortly foragers 
bringing fare from beyond  
this bare suet cage.



With every kiss denied
half hearted hug,
with every missed call
unanswered text,
you’re teaching me
to live
without you.


Statement before their statement

They movin way too slow 
Make a post and act like the hate is gone 
What, popular opinion made it wrong ?
Now they gon play along 
You were out there in the street 
Now you tryna lay low for a bit 
Get off the grid 
Nah you gotta go out there and live 
Gotta feed your kid 
Life hit you like a planted ton of bricks 
At the protest 
Even though to your fellow man you’d give a rib 
What goes next 
Is they give a shit 
Nah they only care about the optics 
Care about their pockets 
Care about their profits 
It’s embarrassing to watch it 
From here to the seraphim in the cockpit 
They profit off black culture but the way they starin so obnoxious 
Shit ain’t ever been fair less you got fair skin 
It’s obvious 
They say but but but 
Then they a lyin bitch 
And a racist bitch 
Throw em in the pot with the tyrants 
Just so people can live 
At every level in our society this shit been rigged 
At every level this shit been racist 
Debate it 
With your demons 
Evade it 
Your true colors bleedin through 
Motherfucker I see you 
I see you 
Your true colors bleedin through 

Gotta hit em in their pockets 
Hit em in their pockets 
Hit em in their pockets 
Hit em where it hurts 
That’s the only place they feel shit 
Gotta hit em in their pockets 
Hit em in their pockets 
Hit em in their pockets 
Hit em where it hurts 
That’s the only place they feel shit 


Love thy Neighbor

Your sunny kitchen curtains
and carefully tended plants

Your swept porch, robin’s egg blue
projects a calm you don’t feel

Your position is crumbling
ivy digs in the mortar

Poverty creeping back in
a shadow crossing the lawn

Stealing your complacency
your white rights, your lawn jockey.

Bethel, OH June 14 2020


Battle with Smalley

Pigment to paper
What to draw?
Flirty flowers in bunches?
Happy trees?
Lost in the snowstorm white 
of the page

Oh, the pressure!

What’s the purpose?
What’s the point?

Like breath,

inventing a vision,
a necessary task.
Insults slam and accost my head
and heart like the marker bleeds.

I punch back with 

self affirmations
Yes, doggone it, I’m good enough
There is reason for this art
I will not stop

Listen to my story
Like me
I’m worth it.


Look me in the eyes and tell me you Love me. I dare you.

be careful whom you look in the eyes
while your guard is down 
for they will see more than
the ring of color around your iris or
the current emotion you carry in your heart-

they will see your very soul

in return, you are likely to witness theirs. 
a connection of such intimacy is impossible 
to whelve away
no matter how you might loathe 
what you see


The First Visit

The first time my father visited me
after his death
He knocked on the front door.
I remember walking down the stairs the house was empty
and lit storm orange
  I opened it to see him
no shock or fear I was just overwhelmed
With the feeling of wanting a gallon and having a thimble
That was this time with him  
He couldn’t speak
He stared out at me  and I could see the wanting of words
I had questions
“Are you in heaven?” Straining ice blue eyes
“Are you somewhere bad? Nothing
“Somewhere else?”
A tight little military nod, As if with great effort.  
We stared at each other then and wept in love too wide to speak.
This was the end of the dream
Which sounds a like a bad dream,
unless you’ve had it


untitled 2

the blue polish coating my nails is cracked. 
and the blue marker drawn on my mirror has begun to smear.
they hold remnants of you. 
like the small indent in the paint on my right pinky from where your finger slipped 
and the small curves in the way you write your letter a’s. 

i see the color blue behind my eyelids 
the image of you drowning yourself 
haunts me, even in my sleep. 
and the blue flashing lights that showed up when you never resurfaced
keep me turning late into the early morning.

one day i’ll remove the polish 
and erase the marker
because i won’t need them 
to remember you anymore. 


Mystery solved

Dr. Watson dreams that he goes camping
with Holmes. Instead of sleeping bags, they bring

feather pillows and a large patchwork quilt.
They wake in the middle of the night to find

their tent gone, stolen, and the sky so full of stars
that they just lie there making up constellations

and legends. Come morning, Holmes announces
they needn’t search for clues because the heavens

revealed all they need to find that which
they truly seek. Dr. Watson nods, at last

understanding that what they’ve been after
all these years was meteorites and bears.