I’ve got a lion in my chest.
It feels like fire.
Its claws have sunken deep into the flesh of my cage
and curled up under inside the bone.
Its mouth opens wide to let out a roar
but the teeth of its jaw got caught on the rib
beneath its left paw.

Its tail slithers languidly down my abdominal wall
and the lower pit of my stomach
has become his constant drum.
its hind feet rest nicely tucked up under its muscular bum
its claws, hawk like, perch right beneath my two breasts
where its body lay crushing through to the spine
where there is intertwined
pussing boils, red-stained tears,
and sweat
from the years
of running this race
called Faith.

I’ve got a lion in my chest.
It feels like fire
and it’s hard to breathe
and at times I feel like I’m lost at sea
although I heard Him distinctly
“come and follow me.”
My faith is tried and tested, and at times I fail the test
‘cuz I know what is pleasing
is walking without seeing
and coming to the end of my effort’s best.
But I’ve got a lion in my chest
that feels quite stuck
and now
has started to buck.
Jerking viciously to free its claws
and shaking violently to release his jaw.
No longer satisfied within this space
it wants to break free
to occupy its place
with those that roam ‘round.
And the morbid sound
of his constant pound
and writhing around and around
shimmy up and down,
my fist hard and round
from electric anxieties that I can’t ground
and hungers that are hard to bound.
My pile of dreams is a growing mound
and heavenly promises nowhere to be found
with tormenting doubts pecking at my crown.

I’ve got a lion in my chest.
It feels like fire
and like I’m walking on wire
ready to explode
and finish this episode
of my life in hidden code
and take up a new abode
with a different air
without one care
or traps and snares
so I can finally
live in the destiny
He created in me,
before the earth took shape and form,

I’ve got a lion in my chest-
Heavenly Father

Mr. X

I call him Mr. X
Not that he was my ex
but a could-have-been
that never was.

A long, hard cold wish upon an unrealistic star
a door barred (not left ajar)
a card not in my deck to hold
a unique love story that didn’t unfold.

A dream that I could not create
a fantasy I could not manipulate
a white slate from which I never ate
a choice never offered me to make
a possible blessing clothed as a probable mistake
a painstaking ache
the butter-white icing on my brown-sugared cake
a lifelong playmate

A prayer unanswered or unheard
a thrill in my voice never unfurled
a loving sigh never exhaled
a desire unexpressed and a giddiness suppressed
a gleam in my eye that never sparkled
a pair of arms that never cuddled
a skip of my heart that never played
endless smiles that were never staged
kisses unchoreographed and dances unsung
a love letter never begun
and on my back there remains
a slight sadness stain--
My Mr. X’


“She kissed me”, he said

But that wasn’t true.

“What the fuck?!” she said,
“I don’t know,” I said
“well he’s a free spirit,” she said, “everybody feels safe with him.”

Safe is not the word that comes to mind but
something more loathsome that bends the mind,
something more seething that clouds the mind, and
something more deceiving that blocks the mind.

What I heard her to say was,
“everyone feels confused with him,”
at least I did.

No, he kissed me.

He taunted me/He excited me
He offended me/He exalted me
He withheld from me / He fed me
He ignored me/He said he dreamed of me
He rejected me/He wanted me
He played busy when around me/He secretly gave flowers to me
He was blind to me/He opened his eyes me
He mocked me/He admired me
He silenced me/He wrote a song for me to sing
He towered over me/He felt intimidated by me
He was restless about me/He felt a calmness when he looked at me
He pushed me/He pulled me
He ran from me/He gravitated towards me
He punched me/He embraced me.
He stripped identity from me/He said he was a Black woman like me
He hid from me/He came in search of me
He tried to extinguish me/He fantasized a life with me
He shattered his mirror of me/He created a woman that was me
He tried to eclipse me/He saw his reflection in me
He personified light to me/He displayed his darkness to me.

“I’m gay,” he said to me.
“He now likes women,” she said to me.

To Be

To be
human plight.

choose, rather,
to be
and the
human fight.

A Ballad of a Mother's Regret

“I never wanted three children,” my mother said to me
“Two was my intention for our family,
but God intended three.”
Oh, pity the burden on me.

“I never wanted three children,” my mother said to me
“two was my intention for our family,
but God intended three.”
Please heavenly father,
Let this cup pass from me.

“I never wanted three children,” my mother said to me
“two was my intention for our family,
but God intended three. If I could do it over,
not one, not two, nor three,
neither a family
would I chose for me.”

“I never wanted three children,” my mother said to me
“two was my intention for our family,
but God intended three.”
One is my sister,
my brother makes two,
and I, sadly, am number three.

“I never wanted three children,” my mother told me...
Neither chose you I, dear mother--

The Kiss

Ever been kissed by the sun?
The heated rays, like long fila, gracefully stroke my lips like fingers,
permeating every pore of my submissive face,
igniting my entire celled body.
A lover not afraid to give me warmth is the sun to me.
Never tiring, he keeps pouring until his radiance is too wonderful for me
to contain, that I am forced to look away.
Oh that I could hold him, be him, embody him.
Let your light shine in me!
Illuminate me.

Friendship for Sale

Friendship for sale! Friendship for sale!
Friendship for sale! Friendship for sale!

My collection of friends, or
would be friends, or
never could be friends and
never were my friends,
are available for sale.

My collection of friends:
deceiving friends, lying friends, back-biting friends, spying friends, always mocking friends, and never letting me live friends. Always parenting friends, jealous competitive friends, always gotta win friends, take the fun out of fun friends, judgmental friends, controlling, jucking, and jiving friends. Talking behind your back friends, never calling me back friends, laughing at your expense friends, always talking but never listening friends, always right never wrong friends, over bearing and pushy friends, overstepping their bounds friends, unapologetic friends, complaining friends, using me for their own good friends, agenda-seeking friends,
are available for sale.

My collection of no good friends:
loud and obnoxious friends, disrespectful friends, foul-mouth and ungrateful friends.
Always-have-to-be-the-center-of-attention friends, codependent friends, provoking friends, unloving friends, low self-esteem friends, low financial means friends, going nowhere friends, extreme friends, unbelieving friends, two-timing friends, childish friends, arrogant friends, greedy friends, spoiled friends, nobody’s friend friends,
are all available for sale.

I am moving out of the neighborhood and
I am taking nothing with me.

Code Red

Red is my favorite color;
my mother called me a hussy the first time I wore it.

Many think I do so as a symbol of my power

Others say I do so as an emblem of my sensuality

More contemplate I do so as a statement of my passion,
thinking I am on fire

But I do so as my cry for help, my cry for you to love me.

CODE RED! Chandra-- is--experiencing-- heart failure.



C O D E R E----------!

The Heavenly Sky

Year: 2000
Place: Venice, Italy

A man spit at us today,
not sure why.
We were not in his way, but he
went out of his to show his disgust,
we make not one cry,
at the sight of a man, woman, and child,
but continued our lunch under the heavenly sky.
sitting and eating under the heavenly sky.

A man spit at us today,
not sure why.
He was sort-of tall and lanky in sight,
hidden behind dark glasses,
an Italian white.
He walked away proud, sure of his result,
that we now felt much shorter than short,
much less than we are, less than human than we are,
but we found a sweet solace in the heavenly sky.

At home in America the same is true,
subtle hatred towards those with the African hue.
The same would not be true,
were I a German or a Jew,
should I hail from India or Asia,
the same would not be true.
Still...rejected are those
made black by the African hue,
even by our own,
yet share we the same view of the heavenly sky.

A man spit at us today,
now I know why,
our skin happened to be tarnished under that big heavenly sky.


I am your statue of violation; made beautifully for your distaste.
Painted distortions. Picasso?
No, no work of art am I, but a kneaded clod of your configuration.
Groped colors. Oestrus shapes. Raped tones.
My body made from the most indestructible material for your destruction;
I am nothing more than nothing.
I am abandoned. I am jerked. I am pulsed.
Your hands snatch and rake, wring and wrench.
Your eyes--hangers--rip daily into my flesh gorges, sinews vomited with hatred.
My essence depleted. My soul whitewashed. My heart crumpled.
Betrayal's craters and the debris of rejection often brand me.
The tastes of love know not I, and loneliness' poison is my blood.

I am your statue of violation; perfectly designed for your distaste.
My head: non-existent, for you are my head
My neck: your Babylonian tower to topple like the mighty Samson
My shoulders: your platform for my forced submission
My arms: your reins to keep me on the straight and narrow
My breast: your forsaken lots and lost change
My ribs: yours, encaging my life force
My back: your pharaoh's chariot
My hips: your Roman columns desecrated
My vagina: your walled outlet
My legs: your indentured walking sticks
My feet: your waiter's trays on which to keep your tapped rhythms.

I am your duty. Your machine. Your playground. Your experiment.

I am your statue of violation;
made in your image…
I am Woman.