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Life is a cliff-hanger
some of us are the cliffs with clingy grievances hanging from our shoes and ankles
some of us refuse to let go of these people we feel sorry for
some of us are escape artists
built with strength and emotional power to pull ourselves up
and onto the cliff
not knowing there will be more cliffs
not knowing there will be more people and events to hold us down
like the string of a helium balloon tied to a chair or to a wrist
I am small and bound to burst
I am full and cannot flee my purpose

Britta B.

The pursuit
is the truth
My passion has clouded my clarity
with boisterous,
bulging cloud formations
Beautiful, passing, plump
Everything up to this point
directed me to a warm moment of panic
a painful relief
I have not been touched
with such tender assurance
than when I was
disappointed
The sweet prize was
disguised as a goal -
something to aim for
when the Truth was having
a barrel to look through
down
into

Britta B.

There’s just something about somebody
who just
shows up
unannounced, no calls
no signals

just appears

He just shows up
from around the corner

gives you that look
that you can’t look

away from

Britta B.

Cigarettes have a subtle way of slathering succulence
to the itty bitty
holes inside my person
I was surprised to see so many holes were there
but in the moment those vacant lots
began to fill up with air
I was
full again

with emptier pockets
and bigger holes

I accused
the cigarette, called it perpetrator
for poking fingers
into open wounds
just to see how far it could go before touching bone
when really
it was the wound to blame
for foolishly inviting an arsonist in for company
into my home

Don’t you know
how
smoke
persuades
me
and my wounds
dance
when wounds
know very well
the first toke could be my last
but damn,
what’s another inhale
to an exhale
what’s another inhale to an exhale full in its release
with a consistency of relief
when every inhale is a struggle
every breath making the concept of Life
seem like a disease

Between being under the influence
between having a choice
and having a chance
in the end
every feeling, person, and habit will experience death
no matter how, what or why
no matter how good of a dancer you are
no matter how good you are
at frisking the sky
you will surprise yourself… and then you will die

and while you’re aware of your dying
that’s when you’re really living

Maybe
I won’t smoke the other half of yesterday’s cigarette tonight

maybe

instead

I will meditate
on who’s smoking the other half of me

Britta B.

Virtually trapped on a
literal locomotive
I go places only with my body
while my mind sits, stuck working
overtime
filing memories from the wastebasket
into fresh refurbished cabinets

Oh this present
just isn’t as good as
what I can make the past become…

Britta B.

When my Papa passed away
although painful
it wasn’t tragic

His funeral was the most beautiful gathering I had ever been to
Black people
of all shades
came together in celebration of his life
Black people
of all degrees of enslavement
came together in celebration of their own lives
We wore colours
We ate soul food
I sat with snot and tears like candle grease on my face as I filled my tummy
filling the room
with an extra pair of shoes
an extra prayer saying grace
I’m telling you like it is because it feels like it was
just yesterday
just an hour ago
when my father
burst into my bedroom
woke me from an afternoon slumber

sun shining
but no light in him

I distinctly remember how hot-damned-well that sun was shining
beaming
bitterly
as I hurried to pick up a lamp that knocked out the light
from my father’s pretty dark brown eyes
and held him
trembling
like he was child again
trembling like he was small again
in my Silly String arms
sucking air and bellowing back, “He’s gone! My daddy’s gone!”

At the funeral, a youth gospel choir sang “One Glad Morning”
and I always confuse that one line for “One Black Morning”
probably
because
that’s what death means to me:
running out of light to give

Thankfully, my father
still has light to give

He found it on a highway, I believe
where he was beckoned to an honourable memory
of his hero
Sometimes
the signs are designed
to reach us at eye level
and others greet us
6 feet
under sound

Britta B.

You look
so
divine

You must have discarded
a whole heap of dirty garb
to get that clean

How did you
shed the rust
of your unhelpful relatives?
How did you free
the remedy of your inherent habits?
Can you take it for what it is
if you bring
it out of me?

Nature has Her ways, souls
rubbing souls
for Earthly calibration
I am the catalyst
You are the Scientist’s prescription
for a healthy heart
Good health
is sensitive to unhealthy servants
and no one knows it more than you
how even the undeserving have a purpose
“There’s nothing more necessary
than the unnecessary”
There’s nothing more divine than losing your religion

As I sit
with you
under the toenail of a
closed cathedral
I wonder, what if
out of the 144,000
you were the first

When the question hitches a ride with
the westbound wind
you catch on too with your photo-maker
causing a traffic jam raising the blade
of your eyebrow all to say without sound:
I’d be the first to refuse

See, this is why I like you
you’re no anchor
no black hole ether

You just haven’t met anyone
who catches light
like you yet

Britta B.

Manipulators don’t like
to be manipulated
Facilitators don’t like
to be facilitated

But a fool!
A fool loves to be fooled…

Britta B.

In the liquor store
I don’t put things back
where I found them

What makes you think
when you’ve reached the bottom
you’ve been put back in your place?

Britta B.

Stewing in the skin of my inward eye
probable and prone to tunnel vision
I satisfy
the perversity of repetition

When impulse takes me by the hand
we give substance to silhouettes
We do what we must
to quiet the fuss

Out to seek
what is seeking me
Hunting for a higher Truth

People hand the best they can
not the way
you want them to

When I say, I have no words
I’m not trying hard enough
When I say, I have no choice
my mind’s been made up

We do what we must
to quiet the fuss

With my voice, I collapse
I’ve never had my heart broken
only an ego scratched
and my desire requires many reminders

Harmonious woman, you deliver life
everything else passes or purely assists
Don’t try to make love
it already exists

And excuse
my imposition
but consider the privilege
it is to consider the position

you’re in

Forgiveness
isn’t as much as what you leave
as it is
to where you return

When will you learn you have so much to learn?

Oh, we do what
we
must

Britta B.

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