In the courts, in the pavilion

In the courts, in the pavilion

in the center with my God

Behind the gate, as His daughter

Sings and sighs, with letters and

chatters to her Father.

I am telling Him stories

and He listens patiently

Allowing my laughter and

Amazement fill His room.

He talks with me  in a steady

gentle voice called Forgiveness

and wipes away my tears with Grace.

I contend.

He corrects me in His Mercy

and I sit up to play a new song for Him.

 

My Beloved – Contemplation of Honor

My Beloved,

Is it passing your belief that God led me to cross the ocean at such a young age, to expose me to the love and art of sound that you know so well?
Was it only the angel’s clumsy coincidence that I swim through turbulence, only to immerse in books and stories that equal my conversation with you now?
Even recently, do you overlook the orchestrating of the Great Conductor, who removed things that served as my distraction, only so I could focus on our own wandering thoughts?
Have I come so far, to be devoured for one weekend and be delayed in time?

Would I wait, Beloved, until your work produces enough satisfactory paperwork for you to file? Would you wait, Beloved, until I am equipped to make the same drive you do?
All the while, are we busying ourselves with sensibility, and sacrificing the life that is “ours?”

How much longer do we have?
How many points do we each need to earn?
How much of each other’s cares must we take seriously, before we act?
Have I already made the promise and not told you?
Am I so foolish or faithful to do so?

What is Honor to me, Beloved? Or status? Or title?
Haven’t I grown beyond that?
Haven’t I grown to fill it?
What are presents and rings, flowers and chocolates, that show me my importance?
Would it be knowing you breathe deeply in the night and your knowing that I wake slowly in the morning?

What have I to study but righteousness?
What have I to sing but patience?
What have I to plant but devotion?
What have I to write but love?
What have I to listen to but your promise?

You choose how to honor me.

Lovingly,
M

[Originally written 7, September 2009]

DOMESTIC

Frantic
Lost my keys

Panties in the corner
On the dresser
4am, car 2 blocks away
Fu**, I’m stressin’
Garage before sunrise
Elevator tiptoe
Oh, good, he’s still sleepin’

Dawn in July
Did it again
Explanation –> #3/ He’ll believe me
“I was with Jamie..
Her car broke down
My cell phone died..”
Battery? Oh. BAttery.

6 years
2 bedrooms
Almost bills and own cell phones
Now you wanna interrogate
what time I get home?

Look, I’m late for work
I’ll see you later, whatchu want for dinner?
Huh?
You’ll be late tonight?
like, 9?
oh. Right.
Later.

Better Absent at Reggae Fest

Sun on my skin, breeze blowing in the outfield.
Lying in the warm, kissing light of the festival.
I couldn’t have him here. He hates the sun.
The familiar rhythms oozing out of the speakers, that steady beat and shake of dancehall. It’s monotonous to him. He probably hates that, too.
That’s why he’s not with me. That’s why I don’t take him places that I enjoy.
Then he’d hate everything if he’s uncomfortable.
Then I’d hate him for having to listen to it.

It’s a manageable scattered sea of people, vibrant summer colors, tank tops and dark Rasta shirts. Licorice root vendor and the recycling volunteers, wearing a lei of plastic bottles around their bodies. Go green, Rasta.

The women, strut their tightest festival gear, with open-toed sandals, dancehall high heels and Caribbean earrings.
Signature midriff shirt.
Ankle-length, halter top summer dress.
The delicate fusion of appearing “earthy” and “available.”

The men, parading themselves and sometimes their women.
Stylish shirts that might be new, gathering with their friends as if they had someone to choose, a decision to make, a mating dance, all done in the festival sun.

You can tell a lot about a man from his walk.
And here they were, gliding down the path from the stage.
Through the maze of blankets and last-minute picnics.
And they stroll.
Broad shoulders and wavy hair.
Strong jawlines and working hands.
But they are empty steps – with no purpose or standing.
Energetic bodies of vain promises.
An arena full of nothing.

No wonder the women are vigilant, alert in their feminine fashions to signal the parading male who will parallel a good life with the fierceness of his stride.
No wonder the men are frustrated.
This is where their women go – looking, window-shopping and exposing.
No wonder the women are suspicious.
To see their men, congregated in observant clusters, watching and studying the sea of listeners and availability, as if they had a course to chart, as if they had a village to protect, as if this is where their manhood boomed.

And I think of him and his complaining.
His sun too bright and the music too monotonous.
And how I’d never observe the ridiculous parade, if he were here.

“Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” 1 Corinthians 15:33