No Escape

I don’t think people know the many and strange entangled reasons a young woman would get into the car to be whisked off into danger by a white man twice her age.

To talk to them on the internet.

There are things far more dangerous than any one man, life for one.

But then you look over and realize you might be left alone with him, and question if you are walking away from death or towards it.

Also, what about those of us without escape? Where home is a safe slow stumble and life is a basket of blanket stares, longing and fear?

We have parking lots. Not cottages. We had gravel and tim horton’s at 2 am.

We sat in our parents car for as long as possible just to be alone.

We took baths. We took showers. We slept.
We hid in our minds.
Secrets became refuge.

Always watched, but so unheard. A thousand bruises went unnoticed as your parents locked the door, closed the blinds, and turned off the light to keep you safe.

Then you become an adult, and anywhere could be a possibility, but you that cage of your youth feels like a tomb drawing in.


Self-Sustaining Woman

i am a self sustaining woman.
i am not clingy, and I don’t text too much.
i am a self sustaining woman, I don’t eat too much, in fact you never see me eat. I promise to buy the cheapest things when you take me out and only get drunk enough to be enjoyable.
i am a self sustaining woman.
i never complain or rant about how I feel. I am a mystery to you often.
i am a self sustaining women, one day I grew so empty that air filled me and I began to float.
i am a self sustaining woman, my organs are dust and I can’t stop watching the world turn and turn.
i am a self sustaining woman, my faint shadow trickles down my chapped legs skin cracked from the sun.
i am self sustaining woman
i float and wait for the others to join me

we die in our beds

No more staring through crystals towards the sun.
We die here.
In our dirty beds holding on to broken dreams.
We die here holding our shitty phones shattered by the sound of siren wails.
We die here remembering the necks we stepped on to get into our apartments.
The hands we knocked away that held out hope for our humanity still…
last shots fired
so we die here.
In dirty beds with clean faces and back covered in sweat
We die here.
Awake reborn or a ghost, I don’t care but don’t forget where you come home and lay your head.

I can’t sleep.
So the knowledge that my mother was born in the same bed my grandma slept in beside her family since her husband left for five years.
Five years of her dowry by her bed.
Napping in her bed.
Holding her baby in her bed. Together as one.
Vomiting in a bucket by her bed.
Moaning in her bed.
Migraines slept away in that bed.

Now he holds me in my bed. We barely fit.
I create room when there isn’t any, but when have I ever stopped doing that.
I carve you a room in my heart.
You lay your head down on my beating heart no matter the weight I hold you up. No one drowns when I love them.
No one except me.

If I love you I let you you carve.
We must because its just a beating scar.
Nothing smooth left no more. Just gnarls.
I run away and go outside, but really its just my bed.
The sheets. Two pillows when I deserve eight.
I had 4 once, to hold me fast.
The end of the day or the beginning of the day.
I sometimes hide from it.
I sleep on couches of floors.

It waits for me. Sleep and death.
My bed.
Measurements of time misunderstood
A life twisted.
I die here.
In my bed.


As she bathed in both warm water and her exhaustion, barely bringing herself to soap her brown body with the slippery soap. She would remember the scrunched faces of disapproving Aunties, almost hearing a chorus of polished West Indian accents scolding her for neglecting to use a washcloth.

Well now she was alone and exhausted half dreaming as she slipped the soap under a large breast bobbing in the warm water.

Pot made everything slow down and feel like before the Christmas party when she was a kid. Everything felt bigger than her then, unreachable, possible but in the future. Then you just experienced and wished you were older.

Now her hands were tangled in a life that began messy as that matted mop she pulled hair out of alone in the temple.

How had she gotten there, and what brought her to this place?

She went from having a baby no one thought she deserved after leaving a man that made her sleep on the floor for snoring and picked her cloths (with no apparent sense of fashion beyond preventing her from embarrassing him with her bright colours) to well not pretending. Or really knowing anything for sure.

So much time had passed since the first time she did this, and stopped gritting her teeth and brushing her hair in favour of finding some freedom.

She remembered in grade 6 she started straightening her hair and tried being normal. She tried solidly for almost a full school year.

In the mirror at home she would practice what to say to Tamara and Katie. They knew how to be almost girls well, Kita didn’t. A weirdo, over protected advisor to late 30s addicts, lover of disco, queer with a solid love of the pornographic at 12… But nothing that made sense for solidly middle class suburn tweens in the 90s.

Looking back it was fairly obvious that she was a writer… Throughout it all she was constantly in dialogue with herself, composing impressions of things. Running through possibilities and memories like scenes she needed to perfect.

race nightmares

sometimes I think about race and I start panicking and sweating.
I hear a dog bark, and I start praying.
I see people and I start weeping.
Where do we go anymore?
Where do I find some hope?
I am the least of them yet I sweat the most.
Here I lie.
Here I lie.
A testament to a father’s hatred of his himself, and a mother who was lost to time.
So much was lost, but what remained was indelibly marked both on my skin, inside the soft parts of me that tore forever those quiet winter nights when she was fast asleep instead of keeping me safe, and in my mind eye.
I was a testament to all that he hated in himself. All his girls were.
Hindu names but faces that betrayed origins that made him hate himself far more than we ever could.
or wanted to.
I am the least of them.
Yet here I stand. I sit.
I lie.
I sleep.
Here I am.
There is he is somewhere.
I hope out of the two of us its me that sleeps dreamless.
Let me die just for tonight so I may finally rest well.
If I promise to wake the next morning to work again may the devil take my forsaken soul.
Let the white man wear it as a flimsy garb stained in my blood.
Just so I can sleep tonight, a life lived long worn.
I want to wake up in a hotel. Back packed by my bed.
I want my hair to be unnaturally soft to the touch and my head filled with the knowledge of driving and a plan.
Maybe I have a job that takes me across Turtle Island. Maybe its something simple but needing to be done.
Maybe its so dull it forces me to relax.
Maybe it forces me to find the dark spaces to run in.


“your thighs are the perfect density,” I mumbled trying to valiantly (in my mind) capture the wonder of her legs.
White and aglow. Really smooth, almost too smooth. Like alabaster, but living and soft to the touch.

For some reason her skin never made me feel insecure, nor brought a storm of comparisons to rain down on my mind. Clouding out the simply joys of first getting to know a lovers body.

With her it was just touching, naming, seeing.
My skin brown just as normal as her white skin.

I mean, it wasn’t perfect. She was tall, white and thin, but as far as pretty good gets. Well, I was thankful.

I felt like a person around her, and when she would laugh – my stomach would swell up with a feeling that pressed up against my heart.

Butterflies? Humming birds, maybe? Who knows, bats even. My feelings soared, so whatever was flapping against my belly it sure made me take notice.

The flapping stirred my heart just enough that when I looked at her face I had to blink extra hard and I felt myself licking my lips.
I couldn’t let myself look away.

The funny part is I am not in my twenties even, but around her I felt 16 and just completely enthralled with getting to know someone.

Wishing for freedom

brutality on black bodies

Even a blue dust bathed bra soaked in the sweat of my sun soakedĀ skin bites.
Bites into tender sides
Pinches soft parts
A wire to my lung
A sternum on fire with irritation
I am bound.

Stuck in the illusion of safety – when the very things that cling to my sides could kill me at any moment
I must hide my breath and hold my heart…

A bright bird wings beating
Bashed in, time and time again
As the ways of the world claw into me.
Crack my rip cage open between the sobs that rack me
And grab grab grab my frightened bird
Always trying to dash her in the dirt.

Sometimes I think it would be easier to let her fly away.
I wish I too could join her.
Away from hands that pick
Bindings that poke
And the terror to breathe full breaths as I fly so free.