what it looks like from here


Life is lonely as a conduit.

Everybody thinking they love you because you got answers flowing through you.

Because you see them in a world where nobody ain’t too fond of looking anybody in the eye,



It’s lonely being a river that flows in two directions.

Everybody love your water ‘til they’re whisked away

And it’s your fault

for being a river in the first place


Even when you posted signs.

And told them,

When they got too close

To touching ground in the deep, rushing end

And you had to look at them sternly

And say,

“Be careful. I don’t play.”


Everybody got shit they want you to pull out of your chest for them:

“Won’t you go deep in that raspy spot behind that lung and let me know who’s gon’ win the game tonight?”


Everybody see your light and only want to play it.

Only want to use it ‘til it’s darkness.

Only want to take it.

Take it as an invitation.


Then complain about the fire going out

When they didn’t put no wood in the pile.



Life as a myth is tired.

I spend my days too big to fit indoors.


Up on a high hill,


To the tired and tried prayers of men

With imprints in their knees.


I’m not supposed to tell them,

“That they wouldn’t have to be kneeling all the damn time if they dared do right by anybody but themselves”

But I be thinking it.


So what,

I spend my nights with my feet up.

Burping and picking my teeth

With their sorry offerings.


I bet if you weren’t supposed to live,

You’d be hungry enough to gnaw at the

Praying hands

Of sorry men,




Living under the ground as several severed parts can be exhausting.


Some days my head

can’t even open my eyes.


Some days my fingers twittle

And I feel something


Maybe my other hand,

turning over soil in my palm.


And my ears can almost hear

the kiki-ing of my toes

finding each other

saying softly,

“I think I can feel it,

Can you?

Can you feel it?

I think I’m feeling it.

Can you?”


I used to walk

on top of the street,

before I was a cautionary tale.


I used to wear what I wanted

And hitchhike

And not answer to,


from across the street.


I was baaaaaaaaaad.

Bad meaning good.

There was many a story

Told about me.


Ones where I ate men whole,

without regard.


Where I smoked

and drank

and cussed

and peed standing up

and sang at the table

and whistled

and burped

and ain’t cover my mouth when I smiled

and led us all to freedom.


And raised hell with two

Too-small hands.

And didn’t have the baby.

And couldn’t have the baby.

And let my hair grow,

until my locs turned to snakes.


And fed a million children

by way of miracle making,

(with no thanks).


And cured five million people of polio

And was still buried

in a shallow grave.


They got plenty of stories about me.


But they never get my laugh right.

And every few decades,

when they dig up a piece of me,

they never bother to be curious enough

to match one side of me with

the other.



They got plenty stories about me.


But ain’t nobody ever asked me which one was my favorite.

They never let me choose.

Even though I end up dead in all of them.