The Roots ( A Poem)


This love is messy

Us, trying to love each other, while being the remnants of blackness

While being the literal edge of an understanding at its breaking point

Loving through loveless fathers and broken mothers

Loving around each other like we’re still in cotton fields

Like we can’t rescue each other if we fall

Like at any moment, one of us will be ripped away

We spend more time forgiving each other than making love together

I’m always so afraid he’s going to end up in the arms of a serpent

One he’ll claim to accept his type of black more than me

One who’ll treat the mediocre like honey

and gives rewards of her own righteousness

Unaware that I praise his imperfections like music to dance to

That I find beauty in his breaking

I know what it looks like to see a man break

be fragile be weak

Be — Black,

And I hurt from the way you feel like you can’t be

a cracked layer of glass perched dangerously by the end

like you can’t unapologetically need me

That I can’t be feminine by design and masculine when it’s waranted

Like I won’t make space for you if the ship is sinking

and I don’t mean to feed from you

I feed off of you

and find myself in a position of birthing for you —

I gather the pains of the past and place priority in the repositioning of your purpose

If he’d purpose to allow me to be his partner

Not just his boo or his lady or his ride or die

But an equal investment into the possibility of whatever comes after tomorrow

This love is hard, I get it

Trying to let you be the type of man my father never was

And be the type of woman your mother couldn’t be

Wondering how deep we can let each other in before we are consumed by our own fires

before we get burned by our own flames

This is a most specific account of our love

while being a most general view of being black and being love

I’d like to think we make it

That we find ourselves sitting in our own home with our own kids

surrounded by our own love

You once told me you couldn’t see me in your future,

that everyday brought its own set of belongings and I wasn’t the type to fit in a suitcase

I can’t help but agree with you

Love is without walls

It’s too messy to live in any box


  1. Excellent poignant, accurate depiction of love with someone who has not yet turned weakness to strength as many black women have had to find just to protect and survive. This is why we need black or whatever color that have found their place in God


    • I appreciate your feedback. I had to let this one sit a few months and then come back to it. Had to be sure it was honest and not just written in the heat of the moment!


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