Requiem for L

December 24, 2012

Requiem for L

Days of wine and roses
were never a part of my twenty-four
except once.

Understanding my need to sip and sniff,
he brought me Ethiopian honey wine
and Somali Rose incense.

Understanding his need to make a dollar
out of fifteen cents, I stood beside him
on Oakland corners selling good smells.

One hundred and thirty two moons
older than my post-summer of love birth,
he was my alpha.

Joyfully submitting, I laid under him
matching him movement for movement.
My lips curved a half moon when he said,
Sis, they told you wrong, you can dance.

I loved him so much
I laughingly sidestepped shyness
when my sister said I heard you two
smacking lips in the kitchen.

He was the beginning of my womanhood
and I turned out to be the end of his manhood.

Several copper-wire conversations later,
there was much sorrow in his voice
when he said, if I had known
you wanted to be a married woman
I would’ve married you.

Devoid of my essence, he took a header off
of a rickety staircase. I didn’t believe anything
anybody told me,
until I called his sister-friend.
She heard my name and went silent
and I knew…my alpha was dead.

Grief is perennial. It walks with me daily.



Excerpted from my third book, Contraband Marriage.

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