#write2014: Mirrors and Joy

Jan. 31,2013

This will be a short post. I’m watching two beautiful brown women scream Ludacris lyrics at the top of their lungs and laughing while I type. I know they have their struggles and things they worry over but right now, they look like  the very embodiment of happiness. They’re dancing and free and I can’t stay away from this too long.

 I’ve been smiling and laughing for what feels like every waking moment since before my birthday .I’ve been very bad about writing the past few days because my partner snatched me away for a weekend getaway that snowballed into days of unmitigated joy (my sleeping hours are something completely different). 

Before I met these women I thought, my sexuality was a secret aside. Some quirk I had to reveal months in when it was necessary. “Hey, just so you know, I snore. Hey, just so you know I’m queer.” I’ve always had this partition between most women I befriended, afraid I’d gross them out, afraid if I got too close I’d repeat the moments in my childhood that taught me to only nurse attractions to men. I didn’t even know how alone I was. 

And then the moment when I sat in a house full of women like me. The ease I felt. How good it felt to say “my girlfriend, my woman.” and to hear other women say those same words.

They looked like me.

They loved like me.

Seeing women like me so apologetically themselves, so determined to be happy and loved, so secure in themselves has done wonders for my soul. It’s made my resolve to be happy that much stronger. 

#write2014: Day 23: What does it feel like to be a problem?

The woman problem. The sista problem. The feminist problem. The queer problem.

 If only, if only I wasn’t so myself my brothas could be kings and Gods. If I wasn’t so woman and determined to be human, maybe Black men could reach their goals. Maybe they wouldn’t go to jail so much. 

And they’d treat me right, if I could just give up a few things. Lust. Self-determination. Ambition. Self. 

I’m one of those women, these new 2014 women who won’t bow to every man.

I’m the Black problem. 

As in love with another woman as I am. How dare I? Close my legs to the Black man? Don’t I know this is why the Black race is in danger, now?  

 And after chastising me for hours I know you want to know what it feels like for me to be a problem. Do I feel shame? 

This is what it feels like to be a problem:

I woke up today and pulled my girlfriend in to me. Her skin really does feel like velvet. That isn’t a metaphor, it’s a fact. So, this morning, I touched every part of her while we were half asleep. Because I love the fuck out of velvet. And her hips swell up from her waist the way joy rises in your heart, unexpectedly. Welcomed. So I touched those, too. And her ass…My God. There are no things I can compare it to without cheapening it’s glory. But it’s the reason I’m the smaller one but want so often to be the big spoon. Sometimes I just lay on it. It’s like that. 

After that, I picked out the tea that moved me and sat down to respond to emails and take notes on custom orders. Because I own my own business. Being a feminist and all.  I spent all day choosing what **I** wanted to do..I chose to go out and see your fuck ass poetry cipher tonight. I choose to wear a Black- community-endangering dress and a big ass ring to emasculate all brothers who stepped near me. 

How does it feel to be a problem? The “independent woman” problem? The queer problem? The feminist problem?.

It feels like I’m finally fucking free.

#write2014: Filmmakers, a humble recommendation (poem)

    Filmmakers, A Humble Recommendation

                                   by Lesli-ann Lewis

I’m tired of seeing black flesh tearing

Of seeing white eyes devour our suffering

Like slow cooked meat. 

I hate watching our tears on their chins. 

Glistening. 

Instead,

I want a film for this moment:

The moment her eyes open.

The moment her dimple appears before her smile.

It deserves an entire reel, the way love lights up her face.

"Were you watching me sleep?"

The entire world should say yes.

The entire Academy would weep.