tugging on their Levi’s
with public atrocities
boiling in their mistakes;
the deep dark secrets
plastered to the windows
of the one step
to no where;
hotel rooms fuming
in frustrated showers
of cold water
and heating pads
with no emotion
cover their faces in the meetings that
assassinate their character
whether they know
fathered their children
I cling to them.
We remind ourselves of the return
and how He will carry us,
up each dusty flight of the four floor walk up.
“What will you do when you get out?”
And I say: “take a bubble bath, while my son sleeps in a bed of his own”
"Privacy" has been published by Prong & Posy Fall 2017
Don't cry. Don't scream. Don't get angry.
You’re wrinkling your shirt.
Have a nice day; don't miss the bus.
Have lunch, with salmon and rice and strength.
No yelling. No calling. Spend the night alone.
Don't talk too much. Give all you got; get nothing back
and forth through seasons and holidays.
I get it now.
Don't smirk. Don't breathe. Don't be sad, or happy.
Just exist. Don't tell anyone. Hold it in. Wait.
Don't be you. Fall in between statistical hysteria.
Eat until overstuffed. Watch TV. Go to bed. Raise children.
Don't feel or know anything. Get dressed.
Don't wrinkle your shirt.
Give them a kiss; accept their betrayal and lies,
‘cuz life lies in between realities.
Comb your hair. Wash the dishes. Buy groceries. Hate vegetables
and bastards from hotels. Don't cry. Don't scream. Love your mother
and father. Miss your sister. Feed your children, kiss their cheeks
and remind them of God and Africa.
Wear red lipstick.
Don't cry. Don't scream and remember;
Don’t wrinkle your shirt.
"Don't Wrinkle Your Shirt" is part of a larger piece titled: "Little Girls, What Has Ruined You"