Hettie and LeRoi: Ruminations From a Dark Room

There are these times when I wonder why we even write,

                            But you give me that look and I remember that I have something to say.


         Like those nights that I never appreciate enough,

When we, that is, you and I, have really great drunk conversations together


                   The ones that last hours and hours into the morning.


When I finally fall asleep with perhaps a small droplet of saliva from

         My mouth on your chest I dream only of you and when I wake in the

                   Morning hung-over I curse myself for sleeping too late.


I study your face while you’re still asleep and wonder which traits will be passed along to             Our children, and

                   Will they be upset with us for

                            The confusion of biracial hair, skin, and identity,


And with that the questions come to mind:

                                                        What will I feed them,

                                                        How will I keep them breathing and of course,

                                                        Will I ever learn to braid my daughter’s hair.


We plan our lives in the hallways of IKEA stores

Imagining our future and which bed frame

Our children will have to climb up when they’re

Scared in the middle of the night.


                                                                        Then I wonder if by the time we’re old

                                                                        We’ll be able to count the wrinkles

                                                                        And still remember the moment

                                                                        When every laugh line occurred.



         Yesterday you touched me and I felt the nerves between my toes let out a sigh,

A small chorus of pleasure and acceptance and when my hair fell into my face you

         Pushed it away with your hand and I watched the movement of your arm lifting to

My face and,

                                     The whole thing gave me a vibration.


                                                                                             What were we thinking?

         That night in the snow. But I’d like you to know that

It was up there on the top three and a half best nights of my life.



         Speaking of love, let’s get back to the snow and your hot breath and sleepy eyes and            Want hovered thick and obvious in the air and my smile screams nervousness

                   But Love oh yes, Love, I love how your body tells me you love me.


The radio played in the dark.

You touched my skin and I think you made me

Feel again.


                                               Play me music,


         I’ll write some prophetic lyrics that no one will read but I

Promise they’ll be slightly tinged with sap and more than likely red wine.


                            How boring the lives of normal people must be.


                                                        I’d like to stay up all night and sip from paper cups,

Dancing with you in our apartment that overlooks graffiti murals of ex-rappers.


                                     If only I could write all night maybe sleep all day but

         You play your music so loud and

The neighbors might think I’m lazy.


                                               Let’s air on the side of caution and leave the house only

If and when

         The sun comes out.


One last thing.

         It occurred to me then with the drop of the phone and that shouting silence

         That it mattered so much.


                                               Strange, I assumed love wasn’t black and white.

                                     Ours, if I had to name it, is monochrome.

                            Or maybe sepia-toned.

         No, no, it’s every goddamn color of the rainbow.


                        Amiri said this Love, oh yes, THIS LOVE, is an evil word.

I say the devil may care.