A Long Way Home

Humility breeds optimism, so we had assurance in loads. Still, it pained me to go. The heartland, like the heart, is sick and deceitful; it cannot be trusted. The heart is what kept us in Wichita for two long years and had I continued to follow it, the girls and I would still be some fifteen hundred miles behind, away from the world’s best city.

Before I paved still air

to my place of bread
I was unpleasant

unpleasantly duressed by lack
of water
I could wash neither body

nor favorite dress

nor feed my yielding inedible
plant, nor swallow it

240 minutes waterless

On Pride, Not Prejudice

I’m a cocky son of a bitch. Instead of heeding to the eternal wisdom of God, humbling myself under His mighty hand so at the proper time He might exalt me (1 Peter 5:6), I’ve been busy luxuriating on a delusional high horse. I’ve got the heart of integrity and the blood of the enslavedContinue reading “On Pride, Not Prejudice”

Harlem Shuffle

And the time came to let go of my white people on a residential rooftop view and waterfront backyard with a baseball field on the side. With all its man-buns, diverse restaurants, bars, Polish culture and consignment shops, Greenpoint couldn’t compete with uptown Manhattan, where a renaissance of black excellence ascends history at more counts than Basie. Long held my heart has Harlem Word.

Prosperity

Prosperity

By Margery Hannah

Sand falls to the platter
of dry branches resting
in a baby cardboard box

I bless you and lower my gaze

wipe greased palms
on linen white

Drop it in the box
Chant, “Prosperity, prosperity, prosperity”

Match the platter with burning light
Now, spit upon the flames
You are now a footstool
for dreams abundant

Go For Yours

In A Revolutionary Life, John Lee Anderson wrote Che Guevara had a sense of security only trust fund beneficiaries understand. Recently, I came across decade-old letters and emails I’d sent the administrator of my now dissolved family trust that made me both cringe at my audacity and smile at my courage. Funding requests for an automobile, back mortgage payments, gifts for my brothers, relocation, graduate school summer tuition, a kitchen remodel for mom’s home with a surprise truck on the side, and an appeal for funding to pay my housing for three years while earning an MFA in Creative Writing and Literature (a notably unprofitable degree I would complete a year early) littered my outbox and clear plastic file box. I imagined myself an attorney presenting my case for financial support on the latter matter, and with the beneficiaries—my two elder brothers, mother and I—evenly at odds on whether the trust should support my next academic endeavor in New York, I argued in the most upstanding manner I knew how, with a series of questions meant to illicit facts.