Making Space
Feb 1, 2015 · 2 min read

He was the lost one,
and I was the lighthouse.
The signpost in the Sahara.
The smoke signal skyward.
Existing to guide
from wreckage or ruin,
or else an exquisite waste.

I told him I could no longer
carry him and his heartbreak
bound to my back,
when his legs would buckle,
under the weight of mine.

With water slow on my tongue,
I said “my shoulders are pressed low
with my own heaviness now,
and you,
you are quicksand.”

He said “Pity. Your compassion was always your best quality.”

I said “My compassion is not a spring,
bubbling up in the sand,
there for you to lick up calmness
in the arid heat of your grief.”

I told him I could not give until
all I had to offer
were urns of ashes
and handfuls of dust.
I could not give until I become

He said “you’ve become bitter.”

With scorpions on my lips,
I said “do not use words like poison
to name honey,
and my skin is too smooth
to be described as knives.

I said “no” to his
hungry mouth
moving mechanical to
drink my sweetest parts
and feast on my symmetry.

And I told him he could not
build a nest in my body.

I said “I have soft edges
and my tenderness is lush,
but you,
you should be afraid
of the storms I hold
locked in my teeth.”

I am generous with love,
and hasty with kindness,
but I will not be the oasis
that your thirst destroys
in the desert
you have made for yourself.

Stories of Black Womanhood

Words from the liminal

    Making Space

    Written by

    Stories of Black Womanhood

    Words from the liminal

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