i still don’t know

if it’s safe for us to talk.  i still love you.

i still wish we could be friends, sometimes.  you certainly knew how to remind me of how capable i am, how sexy i look in dresses, and how there’s nothing wrong with being myself.  that was you at your best: bright, visionary, revolutionary love personified.
but at your worst, you were callous and crass, inconsiderate, ruthless, bordering on inhumane.
i loved you despite, but had to turn my back. i couldn’t do it anymore.
and now, here i am. years later. dreaming about you.  again.
i pray for your peace of mind, that you have found the happy medium from which you were so far removed.
maybe we can talk again one day, when it’s not about ego or stature.  it can be about love. i would welcome that. 

i am sean bell.

i got this video from jo, via a post at dawson’s ink. i give thanks for stacey muhammad’s project. i’m really quite speechless. teach the babies. save them. save us. & please share this video. peace.

dope girls.

in streetwise terms, the word dope only means one thing: the illegal, illicit shit. usually coke or heroin. it’s the norm to be a dope girl nowadays. you have a kid or two. job corps really didn’t do for you what you thought it would. that welfare-to-work medical assistant training is fine but the pay caps out at $32K per year depending on where you live — and if you’ve done welfare-to-work, you probably have babies to feed. so what’s a girl to do?
you start pushing weight, or boosting & selling the hot shit on the street. or, you get two jobs — maybe three — so you can handle your business.
i’m not saying that this is what happened to gina hunt & andrea yarrell & their children, but damn if it doesn’t seem that way. i’m not okay w/ this shit. it bothers me to no end that they were targeted for robbery and killed over some weed & money. i’m fucked up about the comments ppl have made as to the whys of these murders. i’m not okay with pointing my finger at any woman who seems to have chosen to push weight (or strip or prostitute or do any of those “bad” things) so she can maintain a fucking roof over her fucking head. i’m not gonna knock anybody because i know for a fact that in the past 2 years i’ve been so desperately broke that i wondered if selling weed was a better idea than dayjobbing it. no lie. & heaven only knows if i’ll find myself there again. who knows if any of us will be in that position? over and over again, ppl are saying it’s all about what the mothers did before that point. my god, is it really like that? you mean to tell me that before the killer shot that he couldn’t have decided to do something else? he couldn’t just walk out? what the fuck? but i guess if their house had been mistaken for a different house, it’d be okay. these girls weren’t euologized as ph.ds or neurosurgeons — cuz rich motherfuckers get into drug shit too — so i’m under the impression that just maybe it wasn’t about the fun or glamor of selling dope. i’m pretty sure that these women knew that it’s not cute out here — it weapons were found in the home, they probably knew what the norm is. there’s no honor among thieves, obviously. shooting babies? for what?
my heart’s broken by shit like this. i understand that murder is par for the course, and i know that folks are transitioning at what seems like an alarming rate. but the way this shit went down really breaks my heart. sometimes i understand why so many folks say “some days it doesn’t pay to wake up black.” apparently, it doesn’t pay to wake up female, mothering, black in this country.

fuck. what is wrong with people? these cowards won’t even admit to who shot whom. pointing fingers and laying blame at others’ feet, like that shit’s gonna help shit. so damaged. so damning.

may these lives be lost not in vain, but to teach valuable lessons to those who hear of the events. may there be rightful, righteous justice visited upon the heads of the killers. may the families of the lost/ loved ones be comforted & edified by the outpouring of sincere support from wherever it comes. it’s not often that a mother or father has to bury a child or even a grandchild — but i pray that those left behind are able to heal.

i don’t even know what else to say. peace to the mothers & children.

my inner child needs a hug.

& an apology
& that new pair of punky brewster sneakers
someone who’ll listen the first time she says someone’s house is on fire across the street
& someone to explain why she has to be nice to or give two shits about daddy & his folk
someone to tell mommy to stop putting relaxers in her hair, no matter how much “easier” it is to style
& a friend who won’t steal her cabbage patch dolls
a real talk about boys, sex, sexuality, & why her uncles keep nudie mags
to know that difference between mommy’s cigarettes & that funny smelling stuff ricky & his friends smoke in the living room
to get to know all of the bisabuelos before they die or have strokes
to learn to jump double dutch
to learn to play chess, cuz checkers is for suckas
& to know how beautiful she is
to know it’s more than, better than okay to be black
to be unashamed of her roundness
to understand that saying no is a tool, & she should do it often

she needs more quality time with momzie
violin lessons
more dance classes
no more wave nouveau
better access to health care
more smart black girlfriends
more books
more space
a savings account
more time to play w/ the records in the basement
a trip to every cultural event and street fair philadelphia ever had to offer
to see her own reflection and smile
to know that she’s loved, a child of god no less than the stars
& most importantly
that she’s gonna grow up to be just fine.

i won’t ever forget it: the beginning of the end.

the time he likened us working our problems out to the way we’d coach each other at free cell.

i wanted to smack him in the face w/ the keyboard at that exact moment, pack my shit, & walk the fuck out. but all i had to my name were some nickels (probably not enough for the bus) & whatever food i’d bought for the week. i couldn’t go back to my mom’s like that. but i felt it in my gut — i felt someone telling me to leave.

lesson #1: always listen to your first mind, no matter how crazy you might look to everyone else.

until mercury turns direct

communications WILL be funky. unresolved issues will show themselves. if i don’t remind myself of this, i’ll go crazy until things are normal again.

i had a dream about ________. he rode past me on a bicycle and was smirking hella hard, like he knows something that i don’t. it was different than when i saw him out of the corner of my eye a few weeks ago; we actually made eye contact in my dream. you never realize how much something/ one has disturbed or upset you until it revisits you, almost smacking you in the face.

like i told oyin, one eighth of me wants to hug him & tell him that i mean him peace. another eighth wants to stomp on his foot just on general principle. the other six eighths wants this shit to remain at rest, unresolved or not; i don’t have the energy to dedicate to running around correcting ppl’s misconceptions.

maybe he already knows, & that dream was evidence of the connection we still have.
or maybe not.

either way, i need to be free of this energy. period.

real quick

sometimes, i still wanna ignore
how hurt i was, & probably still am.
it’s like a miles-deep wound, a scar across my belly
like i’m a leftover from somebody’s massacre
if i try to think about it
i immediately begin to shake my head, “no,”
because it sometimes feels like i traded my sanity to have something else
& i don’t even know what that something else is.

other days i’m thankful
full of joy & hopeful
looking fwd to trying it again some other time
when i have more to offer,
less to carry
& more love of self.

this year will make it five.

it’s so surreal, because my brain still travels that path sometimes:
she would be five in december
i might be living in the projects or renting a shithole where i’m afraid to come home after dark
i know he’d be gone already, possibly a suicide, maybe another part of the murder rate
and there’s no telling how i would be
because i wasn’t fully myself back then,
i didn’t know i that i was magic
i had no idea it was incumbent upon me to be the goddess
or to even respect myself enough not to let that be the case. ever again.

here’s to the lost ones,
whom we tried to save from ourselves
for whatever reasons;
for my girls who’ve been through it, i love you & can guarantee that god loves us anyway, no matter what, all of the time.
look at the grace in your life. give thanks for where you are now.
you are a whole, beautiful, divine, capable, magical being.
you have the power to choose where your life goes. you are not bad. you are not ugly, you are neither a waste of woman nor are you scarred.
you are NOT used goods.
you are blessed.
you are not a coward.
remember that on the days it hurts the most. be glad that you’re here.
somos luchadores, hermanas. somos supervivientes. somos guerreras fuertes.
please, i implore you, do not give up on yourselves. love you for all you are. you need to.

so that if you choose to go down that road again, you can hold your head high & be thankful that you’re better prepared.
& that if you choose not to, you’re at peace w/ that and can STILL hold your head high
because you’re a child of the creator.

don’t let anyone or anything take from you who you are.
every hair on your coochie, you have earned. through everything, you are your own. you are god’s. we only do this stream of consciousness once. no do-overs, no take-backs.

so through the mourning, find that laughter & smile
get to the point of bliss
& be thankful

because you most certainly coulda curled up and died a long, long time ago.

(inspired by omi, who every day reminds me of who i wanna be when i grow up; for oyin, who is the most beautiful geechee woman i know; for melissa, who first held the mirror up to my face; for la flaca, who’s stronger than she knows, & for sg whom i want to know that it’s okay to let go of all of that bullshit.)

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