Introvert in Red

there is a snort wrapped in your chortle

devaluing scoff of disbelief

prickling through trappings of merriment

find humor at my blush-ed expense

 

you heave invalidating skepticism

splashes of frigid indigo

ice my vulnerable disclosure

impromptu orchid proffering

 

you have colored me strident scarlet

as I retreat not from weighty debate

and stand toe to toe with any challenge

in my hollow of hallowed ground

 

I carry off vermillion verisimilitude

in tones more assured than dulcet

take the measure of men of stature

shrink violet from no deliberation

 

my soul is lilting lavender

clad as a rubied warrior

wilts exhausted in social commerce

blooms fragrant is solitude’s sun

 

you vision me caricatured cerise

pushing envelopes and limits

while I crave the blessed relief

of a meadowed azure retreat

Warrior Women Anthem

Collaboration with my amazingly fierce Warrior Sister Kindra M. Austin

 

Yes, I know my place—

And it’s not in the shadows of darkened corners,

Slumped over and bleeding, weeping.

It’s not in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant or otherwise.

It’s not in the hospital having bones reset, or split lips stitched.

Yes, I know my place—

Push me down, drag me out,

And I will get up on my two feet

Because my place is to stand among my Warrior Sisters

 

I have been out of place

cowering, confused by calamities

conforming, if only for moments

to lessened expectations

I have been out of place

biting my lip

silencing caustic retorts

eviscerating commentary

on the lot I was caste

I have been out of place

head shamefully bowed

hiding my brilliant plumage

muffling scintillating wit

lest I overstep, overshadow

narrowly defined confines

 

Shed used skin—toss it away

And open eyes, newborn light.

Hold on heart, the time is now—

Cast aside those ropes,

Take up your banner.

Riot for your life.

 

it has been said

I am out of line

dare I speak too loudly

of my truths

my place is colored riotous rainbows

outside your compliant lines

it has been said

I am out of line

dare I dance with abandon

in the face of obsolescence

my place is scented midnight jasmine

in the garden where my good

overgrows obsequious evils