Tag Archives: love

The Conversation 

Police brutality and the war on black men forces poetry out of my soul. It also forces hard conversations with the people we love.

I had to have

the conversation

with the man I love
I told him to just

Lay

Just lay on the ground

When they come around
As I spoke I felt that rope

Tied around my throat
And it hurt.
I told him to do whatever

they say

I told him to pray

While he lay

As I choked

on tears and pride
Two black men murdered 2 nights in a row in July

There’s no other option

The man I love
Has

Got

To

Survive
I had to have

the conversation
I felt him lose his patience

as fear consumed me

And there was nothing he could do about it
I felt him lose his power

While murderous thoughts devoured

my heart and my soul and my bones
Engulfed in flames

Set ablaze by the videos

On my social media page
I had to have

the conversation
“I’m gonna be alright” he said

And he held me tight

While I kissed his forehead
Then we said goodnight.
Each minute that passed while he drove home felt more like an hour
I lost my patience.
At least we had the conversation
But then I thought about

His dark skin

His boldness

His unyielding power

His smart mouth

His charisma

And his confidence
Yall know how a man is

He

Has

Got

To

Survive
There’s no other option.

 

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Black Blue

Your skin, the perfect shade of

perfect

I like it

when it glistens in the sun too

But I love it

When its that dark black blue hue

but do you love your black blue too?

They called you black

and all the other kids laughed

and made you feel

inferior

but the joke is on them when

our own folk pretend that

their hate is your hate

Because they hate their own skin

To begin with

Your blue black has endured

the many evils of

this world tenfold

And yet and still, it upholds

Soft as cotton, bright as pure gold

not that bright like artificial light

but that dark and natural and brilliant type

like the best night of my life

When we fell in love

The type of night that make you wanna

sleep outside because

Only on the darkest night

Can you see all of the stars and

All of the sky

I want you

And your black blue too

But I need you

To love it

And love it fiercely

As I do.

Pills

 

PILLS

Your heart beats strong

God let it be

You are blessed and you

You

You Are loved

But to you, love is

how much of life you can miss

sleeping it all away

Sleeping on your youth

And the dawn and

The day

I pray:

Lord, may your hands put the pills

Up in a place far far away

I hate the sound they make in her purse

I hate it in the worst

Way

It’s the worse way to waste

borrowed time you can not make stay

I can not just say STOP TAKING THEM

I know God I know I know

it doesn’t work that

Way

But God, just listen

I know it may sound

twisted when

I say I’m so conflicted with

My emotions

Do you know what I mean when I say I’m

Stuck somewhere in between

being optimistic and

being realistic

about her disease and

about her need

I need answers

Please.

How did she get this?

Addicted.

Perspective

student-vector-drawing-girl-preparing-exam-43417706

This piece is dedicated to the children who have lost their lives to school.

It’s not even worth it. I’m not gonna walk down the 10th grade hall. She’s gonna find me if I do. I hate that feeling when we lock eyes. I hate that she and her friends sense my fear, like a ferocious pit bull out for a kill. Being here is hard. Sometimes, I wish she weren’t here. Sometimes, I wish I wasn’t here. I’ve tried to not be here last year, and 6 months ago and just 2 weeks ago. Momma says my skin ain’t thick enough, but time after time, the knife says otherwise, because unfortunately, I’m still here.

I’m

still

here

Here we go again with these bad ass girls. They’re one in the same. They wanna fight. They wanna challenge authority. They wanna be “bad bitches.” Don’t give me that ADHD-special ed.- mental health bullshit either. If my history class was about slingin’ on the corner or where to buy the best Malaysian hair, they’d be all ears. They know how to steal from the corner store. They know how to open up their legs. Thinkin’ they know everything. Too bad they don’t know they ain’t gonna amount to not a thing. Give them what they want. If they don’t care, I don’t care.

I

don’t

care

I don’t care about nothin’ else but him. My momma don’t want me. My daddy don’t want me. He’s all I got and I’ll be damned if I let this little hot-in-the-pants freshman take him away from me. I hate that feeling when they lock eyes. I hate the way he lights up every time she walks by him. When he approaches her, it sets my soul ablaze in the worst way. Take, take, take. That’s all everyone does around here. My grandfather took my virginity. My foster father took taking my dignity a step farther that one day when he…One day. I’m gonna take from this world as much or even more than it has taken from me!

It’s not even worth it but the knife says otherwise I’m gonna take from this world it sets my soul ablaze in the worst way.

Let’s all take the time to talk to our children and other children we know. Let’s also take the time to read up on and acknowledge the effects of bullying, abuse, low self-esteem and mental illness on our youth.

What you see isn’t always what you get.

Rest in peace Amy Francis-Joyner.

Cleaning Lady

cleaning lady feet
I saw this lady
Clean the bathroom
Mop up the malice, bleach clean the bigotry and throw away the arrogance of a civilization
This United States of a nation
It’s too bad when folk act too good to clean up they own mess
I saw this lady
With the weight of the world on her shoulders
The kids at the college seem frozen in time while she grows older
and older and older
I told her “good morning” and she smiled too
It was the kind of halfway smile that don’t really believe you
I didn’t speak soon enough. Or I spoke too soon.
Then her silence told me that she just here to clean the bathroom.
Society tends to treat its hardest workers with the least respect. Silence kills the spirit. I wrote this to kill the silence. 
Love, Kiara

Black People Don’t Tip (Part 2)

no tip for you Obama

Chicagonow.com

Numbers don’t lie, but they don’t tell the whole story.

That’s how I left things off last time.

I still feel the same over a year since my first post on this “issue.”And today, an extremely rude and biased waiter learned that the number 0 doesn’t lie, either.

I went to eat at a buffet with my mother recently. The only reason we ended up at said buffet in the first place was because the Sunday after-church crowds prevented us from going to our first choice for lunch. We were starving after a lengthy church service — desperate times called for desperate measures.

We went into said buffet. We weren’t greeted but I asked the host about the price. He didn’t answer my question and led us to our table  — from his lack of understanding and his accent, I figured his English wasn’t very good and I let it go, although its an uneasy feeling eating at a restaurant and not having any idea what your bill may look like.

He took our drink orders. We both ordered water. He ended up being our “waiter.” Besides bringing the water that one time and taking our empty plates, we had virtually no service. It was surveillance that we had plenty of. The waiter kept circling around us. We saw him staring at us from other parts of the restaurant. Even when we were up at the buffet, he was right behind us, just lurking.

 Not only were we subject to surveillance, we were also forced to watch him properly serve everyone else around us. “How is everything?” and “Need another Coke?” were the questions coming out of his mouth, addressing all parties….but ours. As we, the only black people in the section and basically in the entire establishment, sat there taking it all in, we realized we were yet again being served the okie doke. The same bull I’ve dealt with at restaurants here and there my entire life.

Then it was time for the tip.

The tip I decided to leave, you ask?

0.

Some people I know tip high regardless of the service, because of the stigma and the stereotype that says black people don’t tip. They’re basically saying that even when we aren’t deemed worthy enough for adequate service, said waiter or waitress should be compensated as if he or she provided good service. To those that say that, I ask this: Why should we internalize their maltreatment? Why should we dehumanize oursevles along with all those racist waiter and waitresses out there who already dehumanize us? People who discriminate against black people in restaurants do it because they feel we don’t deserve to be treated fairly. Giving them a tip that they do not deserve justifies their actions. I don’t know about you, but I was raised to view myself just as deserving of decent treatment as the next person.

We left. As we both started to walk to the car, the waiter runs out the restaurant, following us. We were startled and a little taken back. He stopped us in the middle of the street. A walker-by in the distance stopped in his tracks to make sure we were okay. “You didn’t leave service pay! I need my service pay!” he exclaimed, directing his anger toward me. I was shocked. I couldn’t believe this classless act. To have the gumption to follow someone out of a restaurant for a tip? In a brief exchange, we told him our grievances. No refills. No service. Friendly engagement with all other tables except ours. “The nerve of you to follow us outside in the street and force us to tip you,” my mother remarked. He walked away, throwing his hands up in the air.

We were stunned.

We should have called the police. If we had men with us, it would have never happened. No more eating out. This happens a lot in this area. What a low life restaurant to condone chasing customers in the street. We should have. We could have.

These were some of the thoughts after the incident. I even thought back to when I paid for our meal. I realized I could have paid up front but he insisted on taking my money from the table. I guess he didn’t trust black money.

Out of such an unfortunate incident, I tapped into something very important: pride. Believe it or not, I was proud that I left no tip. I know they say black people never tip —  well, this was the very first time this black person didn’t tip. It was exhilarating, if I’m completely honest. It felt so good because I’ve been the type of person I called out earlier in this piece. The type to leave a tip in exchange for lousy service. This time, I stood my ground and valued myself over trying to debunk a stupid stereotype.

This whole tipping thing is a complicated schema. Its far from black and white, literally. The waiter in this instance was a non-black person of color. So were most of the patrons of the restaurant. Its impossible and extremely ignorant to think you can label an entire race or an entire culture. Also, we have to consider the plight of the waiter or waitress. We know they’ve dealt with ignorance from patrons of all colors, creeds and cultures. They may be defensive from prior experiences. And when it comes to buffet-style eating, tipping is tricky, as you do much of your own service.

Zero is a number, but does it tell the whole story?

Zero is the tip many believe all black people leave to their waiter or waitress. Zero is the quality of service we often get, simply because of how we look. Yes, this black person left zero tip, and she is prouder than ever for it. She has 0 regret. Maybe that sleazy waiter learned a thing or two from his zero service.

Why, yes, BLACK PEOPLE DON’T TIP WHEN THEY AREN’T SERVED.

I guess sometimes, numbers do tell the whole story.

Black People Don’t Tip (2014)

tipforsite

Picture this:

You and some friends or family go out to eat for dinner. After waiting for a table for however long, your party is called for the next available one. You are finally seated. Your throat is parched and you and the people you’re with are all ready to put those drink orders in. You look around at the waiters and the waitresses scurrying about, wondering which one will be taking care of you for the evening.

Five minutes pass, you start to look at your watch. You have somewhere to be after dinner, but you’re certain this meal won’t interfere with your plans. Ten minutes go by, still no waitress or waiter and the people that came in after you already have drinks and are about to place their food orders.

More time passes without any service. “Did they forget about us?” you wonder, even amidst the here and again eye contact some of the wait staff makes with you and your party. And amidst the laughter and jovial atmosphere of the restaurant, a half-enthused waitress with a fake smile dishes out the fakest greeting to your table. She takes your drink orders and goes into the back.

Several minutes later, you get your drinks and as you ask questions about the menu, her artificial smiles starts to fade and her she-can-take-you-or-leave-you attitude sets in. You’re ready to tell her a thing or two (if you know what I mean), but you don’t want to get ghetto and loud in the restaurant. You look over to your right, and the family that came in 2 parties after you is finishing their meal.

“If this food don’t come in the next few minutes, I’m going to miss out on my plans,” you think to yourself. You look around and see the other waiters and waitresses engaging in conversation with customers at other tables, looking lively and happy to serve. Your waitress is one of them. You look up and your food is (finally) at your table.

You eat in a hurry, trying to stay on your schedule for the night. You notice your mashed potatoes are a little cold. The manager is going up to each table, asking customers about their food and their experience. You wonder if you’ll literally be able to voice your complaint about your cold food, because your mouth is so dry. After all, your waitress never gave you a refill on your drink.

The manager walks by, skips your table, and asks the next table about their dining experience. You hear glasses clanging from the refills of other tables and as you look down at the ice melting in your empty cup, and as you begin to realize that the establishment has not deemed you a priority, the check is dropped onto the table.

Now you tell me, what’s that tip supposed to look like?

Often, black people are assumed to be non-tippers and are treated accordingly before they even get to the table…heck, before they arrive at the restaurant — which often translates to no treatment at all.

Numbers don’t lie, but they don’t tell the whole story.

(2014; from the TBTB archives)