Thursday, March 10, 2011

this is a dangerous poem

Photo Credit: Charla Harlow

the kind I promise to keep to myself so I can be more honest with the page

I’ve opened up

(this sounded better in my head, in the shower, free styling, hold up, let me just fin—)

I saw your name today

I saw the place on the piece of paper

with my poem on it

where you wrote your phone # and name down

for the first time all those years ago.

I adore you still and it tears me apart still

this loneliness is so lonely because no one understands and no comfort comforts me.

I have more eulogies to write

for my dead friendships and relationships

than there are grains

of jollof rice

in all of the Naija Delta

when they come to my funeral,

if they come to my funeral,

they will whisper bad things about me inside the paper thin walls of their skulls

they will call me a bitch


they will call me stubborn and unforgiving

it will be true.

there are only so many cliffs you can jump off of on faith


and walk away from unscarred

that shit makes you hard






if you promised to jump with me

but I look up from the bottom of the cliff

and see you

at the edge of the precipice

walking inland

I’m not who I used to be, I don’t know where she went

I used to be nice.

this is a dangerous poem because I have to write it and I don’t know how to.

all this pain churning in me, I articulate and narrate the intricacies of this ache to friends, they’re sympathetic, some: empathetic, some: deeply compassionate, some: politely

offer me their best “it will get better” speech

but it doesn’t, my love

we just forget

that’s not better. that’s forgetfulness.

I don’t know what to say and I don’t know what I want you to say to make this better

when you’ve loved one person

and then they’re gone

there’s nothing to say

this poem is so dangerous it says frightening things,

causes racial poem profiling, makes you shiver and

clutch your imitation Louis Vuitton clutch

as each word inches closer into your personal space.

this poem is socially awkward

and bad with boundaries

walks away without making the first move

this poem won’t call you the next morning or listen to your stories

this poem is dangerous cuz she treats you as well as you’ve treated your worst


this poem shares secrets:

like missing your mother, I miss her.

I don’t believe in happy endings and I don’t think it gets better

I don’t pray and I don’t feel me anymore

sometimes I don’t believe in God

I want to be held and can never find the words to say that

except in dangerous poems and on stage

I don’t have peace, I’m not patient

I’m not self-centered enough and I’m too ill-mannered

I lost something somewhere,

I don’t know what and I don’t know where

but I’m pretty sure it’s everything

I want to run away

to Paris

to Harare

to London

I won’t let you in. I’ll let you think I did

but I won’t.

I don’t trust you and I never will.

I only like you half the time.

I want a big wedding but I don’t believe in love anymore

I want kids but I don’t want to give birth or raise them.

maybe I could just parent for 10 key life-changing moments—

okay: 11.

I think some men are cute. seriously. if they could fuck like a dyke, I’d holla.

this is a dangerous poem because you should know better

than to expect me to ever

write down the worst of it.

I have more to say but my homemade granola is sitting in my yogurt beside me,

side eyeing me,

getting soggy.

I’m gonna go watch cartoons.

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