On nights when I fly alone
After long shift
Of no overtime pay;
Of telling people they have chlamydia;
Of stressing about paying for Darius’ tuition;
If the man behind me is planning to snatch my bag;
If I will make it home to my weight gaining mother and forgetful grandma;
To my bickering parents mirroring my families past;
To the woman I am not allowed, seeing her break under the pressure of their bullshit…
After a day full of wanting to leave;
I get here
To lose my voice in passion.
In yelling and celebrating and Reprimanding people talking during the open mic.
To share my welts like pulsating rainbows;
The pink meat beneath brown flesh, a dish truly rare.
There have been nights when if could have perished only to receive your applause.
An ebbing flow of martyr and witness;
As we die, we are fed;
My pain can help you heal so I share.
This is not my poem.
This is every wounded dove flying again, The wind and the wane
So you can believe in hope.
The open mic is burial site and resurrection.
We die for this moment…
To have our words fall,
To have you catch me;
Be reborn in quotes and mentions
and better intentions.
To be alive tomorrow.
This is a labor of love.
A birthing of rites
Of writing our wrongs
Of reciting our nights.
Knighting our friends and crowning our selves survivors.
Whether prince or pauper
King, Queen or unclaimed royalty;
In love, we all rise.
For those who were at my spit dat feature, this was the piece I closed the set with. It speaks to the burnout we as artists and host face; the struggle endured to even be involved in the arts. And ultimately, it speaks to the love that brings us all back. It’s more than performance and hot lines. Poetry and spoken word continues the be the heart still beating as it’s served to strangers. It is visceral, gory, and beautiful when respected. Respect the art. Respect and support the artist.