Before Being a Mother-Artist was So Cool



as it was (back then)
i was the only poet
popping safety pins
shut & breast shields in
her satchel trying to
smother the smell of
milky newborn &
poverty & my puns
perched so tight
around the audience
that the white university
begged to feed us
& they were so high
on our black us-ness
on us blackness
on us sweat
on us travel swag
on us youth
on us anger
that i was able
to take so much
money home i
could buy groceries
& that
was how i made a
dollar out of 15 cents
but—i did not party
like a rockstar
nor let my hair down
nor get low low low
too many backs to
burp & temperatures
to take
what I wouldn’t give
(back then)
to have
heard another black
mama say she had
to get back to her babies
what I wouldn’t give
(back then) to see
another mouth
on a tittie at a
midnight cipher

once at a reading i had to go across the street to a 7 eleven gas station to pee
while i held my baby in my left hand and wiped my ass with the other
so when you infer or even think for a moment i am weak or incapable
i want to ask you if you could? If you could pee & hold the future in your hands
then spit a poem so fire not even the devil could survive it

Last updated September 27, 2022