gorgeous image by Adrienne Raquel via Instagram @adrienneraquel

i see you performing

placating our pain

wanting invites to cookouts

for posting blackouts

spitting lip service

pedaling black gore

black rights

black cool

black lives matter

as if they haven’t before

.

where you been?

.

okay, fine, i’m harsh

plus who am i to be?

i stand in…

Not your typical shelter-in-place survival story

Not my image, but I did wear those shoes in high school.

What feels like decades ago, on the cusp of Harvey Weinstein’s conviction — you remember him, the last disease everyone was talking about — I wrote an essay called “Harvey Weinstein Didn’t Rape Me, But My Stepfather Did.” At the urging of trusted friends, I sent it to some editors…

i heard she had a house picked out

and belly-rubbing dreams,

wondering if her nose would spread

and if it’d happen before new year’s eve

i bet she would laugh at a fool

and switch real cool

when she got dressed in her best

she should’ve been safe

in her…

Nikki Giovanni + her son, Thomas

this morning, over cheese grits and mango, my son asked me:

what does a book mean?

i said:

it’s the gateway to knowledge, imagination, understanding, freedom.

.

my son asked me:

what does shelter mean?

i said:

it’s the place that holds you and the ones you love and keeps you safe from rain where you can rest in your freedom.

.

my son asked me:

what does life mean?

i said:

it’s the freedom to explore and expand and learn and adventure and love.

.

my son asked me:

what does love mean?

i said:

oh baby, it’s the fuel of life. it’s the drive that keeps us tied to each other, to ourselves, to justice and to freedom.

.

my son asked me:

mama, why do you keep saying freedom?

i said:

because baby, freedom is the very thing that allows you to answer these questions for yourself.

protesters walk on “Day of Pilgrimage” as part of the Montgomery Bus Boycott via Getty Images.

one day way back when we set out on a walk

not holding hands or anything so romantic

just set out on a walk to nowhere really

at least not to me

i was wandering mostly

.

then one day more recently i heard a song

it seemed to come…

mom + model + founder of Tender: Jaycina Almond. captured by: Anissa Baty.

in my dreams my womb expands

to meet my heart space

and you live there

forever in your homeland

you run freely for fun

turn skittles into art

sing songs in the sky

made for you

you move through, wholly

in sacred space

with divine gaze, reflecting

your light

i feel you

and see you

and know you’re there

it’s enough

i return to stardust

stretching far enough

for you to explore

any path you please

you find pennies by your feet

with your face on them

your heart is currency

your worth unquestionable

you rest so sound

to my soul’s lullaby

songs of freedom

your birthright

if only my womb

could expand, baby boy

i’d become the universe

and liberate us both

tiffany rose

dialogue pusher | mama | pisces with an Oprah rising

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