All Together Now! Summer Reading at Johnson County Library is happening now through July 29.
Born into the place I despise.
Growing in the green,
not seeing what could be.
always wanting more.
Perhaps the first
Was the open sky
Infecting above the carpeted ground.
Books astray in an old wicker basket,
Just enough room for a girl to climb in.
Crayons drawing, thoughts wild; just
imagine at your fingertips
My ma says
She pushed my stroller
around the bumpy streets of
Queens, Jamaica, Long Island,
Through rain and snow, all
Finding no help from the
passengers, all ignoring her
It’s a long way home,
miles of pavement and sky.
As we drive,
the sun chases us,
and the clock turns.
melodies blur together,
making one endless song,
duets and duets of notes.
Heat hugs your skin,
The Ponderosa Pines hunched ponderously,
Their convoluted gestures frozen
With dry, rasping limbs in stages of vexation
And narrow forearms lifted high
In savored moments of exalted epiphany.
My brother and I climbed the questions
So many people crowded into one wave pool.
All together in one container,
Yet in separate groups, hardly mingling with others.
The designers did their best to replicate nature,
But only to an extent.
Waves for five minutes, rest for five minutes,
Winter seems like an endless calm.
When the cold surrounds us,
and the darkness makes the streets disappear,
the world’s turning seems to slow down.
You can see footprints start and footprints
At the sparkling lake,
from the early morning sunrise.
With boats at high speed ,
with skiers behind them.
From the bright early mornings,
to the beautiful horizon of the evening.
The lake is an emotion
that sparks smiles all around.
The appeal of the beach is different
For everyone who visits.
Some venture deep into the water,
Their heads bobbing above and below the surface
Of the bittersweet saltwater.
Perhaps they crave adventure,
Letting the waves envelope their bodies,
I am a minor
I have the same rights of
A Black man 200 years ago
A Woman 100 years ago
They say we are not smart enough
They say we are not good enough
They say we are not old enough
I say I am
When will I have rights?
I’m from chalky hair,
Here, pretty hair and curls,
I’m from leotards and spandex,
Here, pretty tops and jean shorts,
Where I’m from, new skills
Here, 9 x 24
I’m from, rug burns and big bruises,
Here, paper cuts
i am your (empty
dead-eyed cashier, mechanically
ringing up your nachos and popcorn;
have a great day!
weekend plans and giggling friends,
i am Maslow’s slave
face blur past, i ring up your purchase
come back soon!
Although I have never been,
I can smell the condensed aroma
of fresh bread in the bakery,
occupying its place in the noses of bypassers.
Although I have never been,
I can distinguish between the flavor
of black and green olives,
Laughter chirps through my ears
A forever perfect
In this imperfect world
Sunshine frames the chalk lines
Every colorful streak
A reflection of my friends
A reflection of myself
Thriving in our child-like ways
Moving boxes carefully across the street,
Looking both ways
before pushing a small cart of toys across the street.
Today we were moving,
But it was not a long drive to our new house,
It was a simple walk across the street.
nurturer, chef, doormat.
Raised to believe my gender put
me on the bottom.
I am to please, not to be pleased.
I am the inferior, the weak, the
soft, the submissive.
Already born with joy, told to
sing in me, O Muse, the plight of the second generation american;
she is a girl with brown eyes and skin and hair,
with $300 Beats that match her silk headscarf affair.
she brings “exotic” food to school,
and cringes when lentils get on her skirt of tulle.
“Click Clack Clickity Clackity Click Click Clack”
The Blue Switch Thermaltake Poseidon Z Mechanical Keyboard speaks a special language to me
A language that is only understood by a certain herd of people
Headphones cradling my ears
I enter a world
Where electronic pictures and sounds
Are ever present
I take a seat
At the Twitter home page
Where people project themselves to me
Competing for my attention
I don’t want to be left out
The curtain rises,
anxiety and nervousness,
but the nerves vanish.
The lights hit me,
a warm and incomparable sensation.
Lines once memorized,
Few moments of panic are gone,
it’s just me and the music.
I hastily picked my feet up out of the snow to uncover a pair of warm brown boots that had been hidden under layers of white fluff just moments ago. The cold wind pierces my bare cheeks as I charge forward, breathing heavily to reveal a cloud of warm carbon dioxide.
head bent against the cold
and the weight of grief
shoving her down
her black hair blows
in the wind around her head
i call out and she turns
her green eyes searching
for the dead that she can’t see