tinier than you would expect.
Their harbors summarily discarded,
souls are smashed upon souls,
writhing, lit neon with overwhelms of holy.
Here names, crimes, and choices
are forgotten. There is only one door,
and the harried souls hurtle through,
bargain for space, pulse gleefully.
The fickle, traitorous heart is a need
no one misses. In heaven,
they keep one beating
in a cage, purely for show.”
Beneath the door, I could practically see
the wretched slither of tobacco and English Leather.
Hiding on the other side, I heard Mama giggle
through clenched teeth, which meant potential
husband sitting spitshined on our corduroy couch.
The needle hit that first groove and I wondered
why my mama had chose the blues,
wrong, Friday-angled, when it was hope
she needed. I pressed my ear against the door,
heard dual damp panting, the Murphy bed squeal,
the occasional directive,
the sexless clink of jelly jar glasses.
What drove me to listen on those nights
when my mother let that fragrant man in,
banished me to the back of the apartment,
pretended she could shine above hurting?
I’d rest my ear against the cool wood all night
as she flipped through the 45s—
looking for Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder,
somebody blind this time,
something crawling on this knees toward love.
Black feminist thought is not simply an interest group advocating for powerful Black women, it is about seeing the world with a vision of liberation. At least it should be…
And, Toni Morrison is everything. She announces to the world that the very best, the most profound, the most beautiful and the deepest cutting words emerge from the embodied lives of Black women. What better license to write could there be?”