The air around me has been thick, resistant to be sucked in.

The furrows in my brow have felt impossible to level.

The clump of all I have to lose has been growing and tightening in my chest.

And fear has been at my hip most moments on most days.

Anxiety wakes me in the night and speaks fright into my ears and I haven’t been able to refute it because it was telling me a kind of truth.

Spouses, children, friends die.

Houses burn down, car wrecks destroy, illness grows.

The evidence of it all is obvious.

I thought that the essence of this lump in my chest was fear of loss.

I thought the air was thick because if I experienced loss again- I would not be able to get on.

That if I lost that I, too, would surely die. But not a restful kind of death- The kind of death where you still have to live everyday and file taxes, shower, grocery shop and pay bills.

But then the full truth occured to me.

It cut in my chest with a knife and dug out that lump.

It brought me to the mountaintop where the air is thin and flows easily.

People have always got on, it said.

If all five of Horatio Spafford’s children can die yet he can still write a song titled “it is well with my soul” then I could get on, too.

If millions of ethical minority people can live under brutality and still create, love and build then I, too, could get on.

If a woman can live trapped in a closet for half a decade and wake up one day to decide she is going to make herself free then I, too, could get on.

And for a moment, my brow smooths out as I suck the air in deep,

straigten my posture,

elbow the hell out of the devil at my hip

and get on.


The merging of your bones like mountains rising in righteousness upon impact with the rugged terrain of your age against the wet sand of his modernity faciliatating the wilderness, the jungle that is the wrapping of your arms around one another and the sun, oh the sun and the stars and the moon and all the light in the world as your two sets of eyes looking at me.

September twelve

I withdrew from me


water on the floor

sweating pain from the core

the most honest and holy I've ever been

pleading for escape that couldn't exist

pleading for a locality forty two miles departed

I was greeted with a growling from some inner self

from the meat of my soul

whose one goal was to give birth

and gift it 

it would

in a time and space disobedient to this earth

a nature foreign to its master

I was separated from myself

expiring from all I had ever recognized as I

contained in muscles that were gathering

ligaments spreading

vocal chords vibrating

tissue tearing

and the mother I hadn't yet met

unyielding to the state of inexperience

she brought my baby down

through flesh and bone and pain

and onto a bed

with novice proficiency

I met her when I saw her legs shadowed with blood

I realized them as my own

and I knew this was redemption

not from sin and not from Eve

but from mediocrity and myself

that nothing again would ever be average



This is the inevitable victory of good, the never ceasing force pushing righteousness along as a locomotive crushing the evil idle in its' path: you were taught to speak so little, thus you burst with fiery passion when the levees can no longer hold back your voice. You were silenced so instead of talking you thought and you worked through every word you heard until you whittled it down to its finest point, its truest meaning. When you speak, your words don't need whittled- couldn't be whittled-if someone tried. They are so fierce and poignant they cut flesh with their dainty feminine graceful contact. Your femininity thought to be smothered was really stoking coals so furiously hot that man can do nothing with them or to them but let them be. You cannot silence without strengthening if not the voice, the wit, the precision, the depth of that hollow voice. You cannot oppress without winding up that force to repel against you tenfold the force you applied. Your weakness, your injustice, discrimination will only ever refine the once weakened, once unjustified, once discriminated into something you could never again touch.