October 2008

Braiding my hair with her long fingers she says, You know

you could wear

cornrows pretty well with your curls

We’ve both gone natural since

the last time we spent weeks together     five crowded

years ago

Older and maybe

more honest now, she tells me about a frat party

where she was the only

black woman apart from

the stripper one guy mistook her for,

and I don’t know

how to hold that knowledge except      balled up inside of my fists



sleepless in airports

walking down half-familiar streets

I’ve travelled across

enough cities by now to know the depth and texture

of darkness when my prickly eyes have barely closed

all night

early morning cab rides

reading the newspaper over my fellow commuter’s shoulder

my dreams look more like itineraries

from travel movies

these days

and home becomes wherever my luggage returns to

if it hasn’t been lost

a year and a half of changed addresses

newly-memorized phone numbers

and plane ticket stubs found in coat pockets weeks later

in transit, I learn not to hold on

too long to any particular picture frame

leave a sliver behind every time

to find my way back in the morning

sometimes a cigar is just a cigar

except when she’s holding it

easy between her fingers

or dangling from her lips–

watching her,

I’d like to Freudian slip

and slide

down the length of her,

ease my fingers inside

while I am fulfilled by her

this isn’t just a single hit,

it’s an addiction I can’t quit and I want

to drink my fill of her:


the smell of her neck, her warm skin whiskey-slick


the words I can only whisper

because she is more

than just a summer lover and

I wish I could spin-suckle-smoke

her flavor

every time we’re together;

fuck Freud, this is better

than any substance

or disorder I’ve ever

tried, so maybe it’s time

for giving up on

living it up on the straight edge

she’s got me hooked

line and sinker

got me wrapped around her finger

got me falling for

a cigar-smoking bartender

and the best part of it is

I don’t even give a shit,

I just want to be her drug of choice

I just wanna sit close and listen

to her voice.