Victor Billione

Ten Times Out of Nine: I’m Only Human

 

1   pray you catch me

there are no roads

that do not lead to me
every thought
a whisper hoping
to be caught
frontiers never

come easy


often a few steps

delayed by deep time
lengths of breaths
always a seeker

nonetheless

 

2   hold up

 

if i light the sky
by holding you above me
we glow together

 

3  don’t hurt yourself

 

life’s not been easy
since i decided to take hold

 

life hurts
growing hurts

 

love heals the
parts that don’t die

 

4   sorry

 

a moment of weakness
was to hear you profess
your love for me with
such a beautiful voice
through a smile so
familiar with untruths
your first being: hello

clearly my love
was never intended to
live safely inside you

 

5   6 inches

 

a kiss knows well the
unity of time and space
knows what has
been forgiven and forgotten

living long enough to cover the

distance of its object
living with no
immediate expectation
a given gift without condition

 

6   daddy lessons

 

our name means to
grow to be better
our name lives on

victoriously

 

7   love drought

 

they rely on you
as discoveries of other
pleasures emerge
they move to welcome
other possibilities
for definite comfort

nothing personal
they want you
when they have you
wild as winds

 

should they return
to drink again from
your reservoir
don’t allow them
to taste you so easily

look them in their
mouths to see
how much
their tongues
have dried
over time

 

8   sandcastles

 

when your home begins
to show evidence of
having been lived in
dust only settles in the
unoccupied places
we stay there until
the walls come down

it seems easier than
making fertile gardens
out of burial grounds
reserved for wishes
that never took flight

there is no shame in
building homes not
meant to be lived in
just don’t expect to
stay there for long

 

9   forward

 

the darkness upon us
shall not hide our way
light far in the distance
ushers in the day


a sky whose faults are frozen
hidden from the sun
protects us all who tend the land
until our work is done

 

find a few or many more
who help us sow our seeds
gather up our harvests
heal our sores that bleed


we lay among the grassy hills
swaying with the wind
like fields of purple flowers
we think not of an end

 

our lives we lead with purpose
creating as we go
sometimes forced to leave behind
a life we dreamed we’d know


we flow toward the gifted seas
that shake us at our core
then raise our heads and travel on
knowing there is more

 

10   freedom

 

black. you black?
you all da way black
wouldn’t know black
if it was placed on your face
but you all day black, doe?

 

can’t see how yo’ black
ain’t the only black
how you get free
critiquing like dat?

do you own black?
how’d you even get black?

 

free. you free?
you all kinds of free
wouldn’t know freedom
if it came and kissed yo’ face

how you crying Kmt
claiming hotep

when you blame black

for being black?
how’d you get like that?

 

11   All night

when i think of you
i think of poetry

 

spent all nite 
pondering the things that you say
want to hear you say my name
call on me as we go deep
young blak talk sex to me

i want to put young love 
on the tip of your tongue 
promise you will keep me warm
would you mind if it takes all night
if it feels so right
come give your love to me

(don’t stop)


make me move
lock the door
show me more
pull me closer to your soul 
free xone until we lose control

 

i want to be the one you need
play jazz for me 
put your body next to mine
this body needs quality time
come across the line 
runaway with me 2nite

 

can i enjoy this moment
as I look through your pictures
believing someone like you
could be with someone like me

two black eagles
flying against the wind
making love in the rain


we could go on and on
and on and on and on
and on and on
and on

it’s just poetry
just poetry

 

12   (in) Formation

it’s bigger than Beyoncé
the revolution upon us
is gonna hit
don’t forget the paparazzi
cocky fresh dressed to impress
ready to party
make another trip
we found another body

kill us in the street
kill us in the car
killing us still won’t change who we are
we will never overcome this racist shit
they keep giving it
we keep taking it

it’s in the water
everywhere that we look
another one gone
at the hands of the hook

 

no trial
no jury
the fact remains
when your skin is your weapon
you’re pumping guilt

through your veins


A Detroit native, Victor Billione Walker (pronounced bil-LEE-yon) is a singer, poet, and self published writer whose work addresses issues related to race & equality, men and masculinity, and queer experiences.

Billione is author of several independent books including a short novel titled ‘No Tea. No Shade.’ and a poetic play titled the ‘Birth of Mars’.

Some of Billione’s poetic influences include Sonia Sanchez, Jessica Care moore, Ursula Rucker, Ntozake Shange, the Last Poets, and the late Chantay Legacy Leonard who was a collaborator and muse.

Billione currently resides in New York City, where he is completing work on a forthcoming collection of poetry titled ‘Love/Revolution’.

For more information about Victor Billione Walker, visit GetBillione.com

Photos courtesy Ken Anderson Photography/The Ken Experience