3 Poems from Jamica A. Whitaker
Happy December! I hope you are enjoying the holiday season! This month’s theme is Natural Beauty and so the poets for this months each show us the various ways we can look at beauty. The first poet, Jamica A. Whitaker’s work show us that we can find beauty even in the most difficult moments and environments. Our survival is beautiful. Enjoy!
Prelude to a Hustle
Scheduling evening pickups
promising not to be late.
Bird songs drift on the summer breeze,
float through fingertips
dancing above car windows.
Empty school buses rattle home
while pedestrians in flip flops
bop their heads to soundtracks flowing through earbuds.
Humidity makes skin glisten while they talk lottery numbers
and the best they've ever had.
The sun sinks a little.
Lion shaped clouds resemble ancient family crests,
turned to dust, subject to time.
The people squint,
catch a glimpse of their dreams deferred
by the stop sign at the end of the street
or the red light at the end of the block
or the ruby lips of the woman
who adorns the corner with partially cornrowed hair
who spits on the sidewalk without a care.
Lime green swooshes catch a ride on a dusty moped.
Slow rhymes drag across the pavement like a smoker on a cigarette,
waiting in line at the barber shop for that fresh fade
or tight shape up.
The door slams on conversation,
our words cease to be,
as we hurry to nowhere with nowhere to be.
The clickety clack of the keys rearranges my pulse.
Typing only makes me nervous in my therapist’s office.
Heavy footsteps on hardwood floors echo in my chest.
My heart chokes me.
I want to flee.
A guy in camouflage pants throws things.
Fuck! He spits onto the lobby floor.
His anger brushes up against me,
falls into the wells of my eyes
This is a bad idea.
What am I doing here?
Ma’am, follow me.
I clunk up the steps.
Borrow the lion’s courage.
Ask for the scarecrow’s heart.
I don’t want it.
Give it back.
Naked on the sofa, words
drift from the ceiling.
I stare until they cease.
Betray my heart.
Flee it says.
Betray my thoughts.
Silence it commands.
I speak my timid truth.
Then back down the hardwood steps
anxiety in tow
draped in fear
tears in my purse.
The sun only warms my skin
As the guy in the camo pants
Dribbles, shoots a basketball.
“You got that slave hair.”
Floating across the Atlantic in chains.
Pristine waters forever soiled.
My hair the waves that toss ships with breathing cargo.
My hair the sea that welcomes them.
Swallows them whole.
Into mystical terrain.
“It’s so nappy.”
Freedom knotted to strange fruit.
Choking at laminate lunch counters.
Venom stained cheeks licked by leashed beasts.
Dried leaves, dirt, fear,
cornered in obsidian coils.
Praying cleansing seas purge loathing spirits,
drown the pain.
“I hate your hair.”
Jim Crow declares.
Our existence is terrorism.
Our disappearance satisfies.
Our resistance incomprehensible.
like hair to the whole.
A cosmic map back home.
Jamica is a writer and communicator who uses her talents to empower others while empowering herself.
Motto: Love and respect yourself first.
Social Media: @afRHOangel