Saturday, September 19, 2009


By Ieisha McIntyre

Husband, who never was.
Sometimes—roll over in bed and nuzzle face in armpit – inhale and sleep deeper, all that heady funk circling nostrils.
Cry – for ‘never was’ –cry for ‘never was’ –
‘never was’—
Remember that morning come to door – eyes wet from nerves and the fear of refusal – and – breathed out proposal with knees buckling from uncertainty of response
And ‘never was’ –unable to speak but took orange roses and pressed hand against warm ‘never was’ cheek and felt the softness of facial hair—
breathed warmth onto quivering lips ‘never was’--a yes – breathed through a kiss separated by warm scent of freshly crushed orange roses.
‘Never was’--sometimes hand just grazing the small of back is the only absolute truth needed –but ‘never was’it is only the chill from the change of seasons.
Eyes search side of the bed, hand reaches for what spirit insists is real and hand then tells the truth ‘never was’-- from the feel of cold sheets.
Seen yesterday on a lunch break—taking a smoke—catching the cross town bus—sipping some overpriced hybrid coffee—and knew ‘never was’ was too good. If ‘never was’ are too good then never is just what will take.
Spirit knows spirit regardless
of--race or breeding or class or place –take nothing ‘never was’—take nothing –honor and mercy—take nothing ‘never was’
but do speak without speech there will be no peace,
no peace, no peace—‘never was’—my husband.

All Rights Reserved © 2009

What I wish momma had said outright and without metaphor

Baby, Breathe!

Breathe this air.
This is black folks' air, too.

Breathe in and taste it.
Taste it. Before they label and meter it, place it on the tax rolls
And call it public assistance.

All rights reserved (c) 2009