10 Reasons Why Your Right Eye Is Twitching
The French press of dark roast
in a travel thermos, sweetened
with amaretto liqueur before 10 am.
The letter from the IRS kindly
thanking in order to inform, this
year’s over-payment will be
conveniently applied to
’07, ’08, ’09.
The tax refund you get for
raising your baby sister’s babies
should not pay for the sins of
the woman you thought you were
a decade ago.
This is penance.
Your story is a uniform worn for
strangers. Spring weather is too
warm for cloaks, too bright to
hide your shame.
You can feel the fibroids
tugging your uterus up and
over themselves, settling into the
warmth. But, you have not told a soul
except your accountant, who held you
close and prayed as you wept. She
noticed the tremble in your voice and
hand when she tore the check.
She saw you.
You are surrounded by laundry,
You are jealous of their freedom. They
are data points pinged from towers
across state lines with no budget for
gas, activities or snacks. They are text
messages of good will, dredged in guilt.
Relieved voice mail messages.
Proof of life in your palm, your phone
You tanked another deadline. You are
afraid that you might be as brilliant as
you pretend. And, who will watch the
children and ignore the laundry while
you are away, breathing your own air?
You are supposed to write, and cry
and drink about all of it today. You are
supposed to know when to say no to
the ice cream man. Explain why there is
no money or necessity for year books
in elementary school. Teach the concept
of never versus forever to children who
are younger than your debt.
Black Girl In Therapy
When you describe how black women / specifically / had their bodies and all cavities inspected / in addition to their hair grabbed / and slathered with lard / to prevent lice on auction blocks to your therapist / and she cries when you tell her that you are a descendant of this fact / but you don’t cry with her / because you can’t cry every time a white woman with kind eyes is hurt for your black life / or when one tries to touch your hair again or silence you / and it’s 2017 and 45 is in office / and you’re trying to raise a care-free black girl with mahogany skin and adamant curls in a school where she is the only one of herself / and she misses her momma / and everybody wants to know if your pain is real / because they can’t believe you haven’t just up and died yet / and neither can you / and they will tell you it’s your fault for being beautiful / and you can’t make them understand that there is a bloodline of women who look just like you in other states that you don’t talk to / and you miss them all / and you can’t remember why you didn’t get your hair wet that day at the beach when you were seven and wearing your mother’s grief / and you don’t want to.
Ebony Isis Booth is a 2006 National Poetry Slam Champion, and recipient of Westword’s Mastermind Award in Literary Arts for her work as hostess of Café Nuba; Ebony Isis Booth is committed to her work. Since relocating to Albuquerque in early 2015, Isis has continued to fuel her drive toward art-ivism as Programs & Communications Coordinator for Harwood Art Center while simultaneously writing and performing original poetry and prose; heralding social justice, self love, and perseverance in and around New Mexico. In 2016, Ebony celebrated the inaugural edition of Burque Noir, a multimedia performance and art showcase centered around Black artists in New Mexico. Ebony Isis Booth serves on the Board of Directors for YWCA New Mexico as a steward of the organization’s mission, “Eliminating racism. Empowering women.”