Friday, July 29, 2011


I saw the X-men prequel a few weeks ago and I have been unable to let it go. I left the movie feeling an eerie connection to Mystique's character. She is a mutant so agonizingly human, hiding in plain sight.

Like Mystique, I began morphing to survive. It’s a learned sport. As a little girl, I became whatever I was needed to be. Silent. Self-sufficient. Un-needy. The keeper of secrets. I adapted quickly and ferociously, lest I be caught dead.

And then there was the move to private school. I shifted into the black girl who “talked and acted white.” Traded my Boys II Men and SWV cassette tapes for Dave Matthews Band and Phish. Packed my bag with turkey sandwiches and baby carrots. I was the agreeable token black student.

In college, the masking continued by kissing boys, and eventually marrying one in my early twenties. I hid my love for women with Bible verses. I was the loving wife. The righteous Christian sister.

I foolishly thought that in my coming out and move to a more fulfilling career that this predilection would die in me. But it has remained--even in absence of need.

I think of the relationships I’ve destroyed. I've left many deserving women reeling by my masking. I used my sexuality as a weapon.

For them, I became whoever they needed me to be. Morphing in front of their eyes. Reflecting the greatest version of themselves. Holding their secrets and protecting their dreams. Uncloaking my body, but never my heart.

I am sorry.

This is for the first one, the colored girl who dared to take my hand and show me the way. And for the second one, the beautiful brown writer with sad and shifting eyes. And for the last and final one, the woman who cracked light, holding fire in her mouth to burn me.

I understand what I became, and I am not proud of it. I am going home, wherever that may be. The adaptation that once was critical for my survival, is now fatal to my spiritual and emotional growth. This painful mutation is not useful anymore.

Slowly, but surely, I am working toward living full blue, like Mystique. I am alive and exposed. Tender to the touch.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Anyone can tell you that after occupation comes rebellion. Once now, the insurgency grows. First, a few futile attempts. Then, indomitable chaos.

You began the invasion with kind sentiments and gestures. Lining her tongue with your words. Giving her new thoughts, one by one. Taking her god from the mantle and replacing it with your image.

Now she knows she must rid herself of you. For good.

See her walking down the street with metal and acid taped neatly beneath her purple sundress.

Friday, July 08, 2011

These things

These things bloom like moss on the belly of stone. Soft, damp, copious--stolen from light.

These things show themselves in spaces given last rites. On the faces of terminally lonely.

These things come forth at moonshine. When tides have pulled in.

These things follow the north star, searching for a way home. A way back to you.