Sometimes sadness knocks you about a wee bit,

tears well up and swim about in your eyes,

and blink-blinking to push them back

doesn’t work like it should.

Like it did before.

Mourning has never been a comfortable mantle,

setting itself about your shoulders,

and pushing to settle into your bones as

an ache that never leaves.

Like it tried before.

When fear dons a bedazzled crown

and steady fires that sadness to tears,

offering that mourning a cloak shield,

it’s bewildering yet familiar.

Like before.

The pain is comfort

and comfort is familiar.

Bila Finesse

Is it weird that it doesn’t hurt as much as it did

ten years ago when your sister called

in the velvet of night with heartbreak in her voice

and pain in her cries to tell me you were no more?

I googled Grief and How Long It Lasts to get an idea

of when I would no longer cling to grief

and it was as vague as the memory of me boarding a plane

to come bury you instead of marrying you.

Don’t get me wrong, besito, there is still a sliver of hurt,

a tiny crack in my heart that will likely never heal

and Morgan Heritage will and has never sounded the same again.

Today though…

It didn’t hurt as much and when I thought of you,

tears didn’t crowd my eyes as they have so often done in

the past decade on November 10th.

Instead, I smiled and said a prayer for you,

in whatever heavens welcomed you and your bila finesse-ness.

You are missed.

That will never change.

Rest on in blessed peace, beso.


Well, it’s almost ten years now…

four more days

unbelievable how time has floated by.

My tears dried up over the years,

but a crack still in my heart

from a loss so unexpected.

Time has covered up the crack

not very well but it tries

what remains, I can’t describe.

A decade ago,

death crept into my right ear

and tears burst out of that heart crack.

It’s almost ten years now.

Everything changed.


He calls me Sugar

And I melt a little bit

more than I thought

I could or should,

or ever would —

his smoky voice

wafting into my ear,

smoky tendrils

of promise

wrapping themselves

around my fogged brain,

pulling at my heart strings,

asking them to loosen,

to allow it to beat freely

and in time with his.


It’s a story I could not tell before,

my tongue tied by a delicate bow of velvet grief

So smooth against my heart for the last decade

that I hardly noticed the crack in it

as much, the bow covering my entire heart,

crack and all. That I almost forgot.

Reminded only and often by the frayed ends of pain

That flayed the back of my throat where

the story stayed, bridled and hidden,

drowned there by public common sense and expectations

hurled at it from familial corners and friend hubs,

coated permanently, seemingly, into place by tears cried

within darkened shower stalls and beneath the sound of music

that, in the first years, blared and bellowed to cover up the crack

and to detract onlookers from the peeking tongues of the story

that itched to come out and play.

With time, the legs previously buoyed up only by

chanted reggae psalms and held firmly in place by

rasta melodies tethered to those expectations holding

the story and the heart-crack down and hidden,

refused to stand still and let the story die,

they longed to run. Go. Tell.

Incredibly, it stayed alive through time,

the story did, the tickle in the throat stretching out to peer into

the world, whispering that it was time to let it out.

The ears heard, the tears listened but the heart refused, afraid.

The story had stayed alive, muted only by the patient anticipation

that one day the legs would gallop, the tears would run bright red

and the crack in the heart would unfold that bow and

slowly, magnificently, unfurl the tongue and

the whip of public common sense would come to lose that sting,

and the cinder-block expectations that had kept that story down

over time, with time, in time, for time, because of time

would disintegrate slowly, more and more with each passing year

until the ten that had passed had chipped away at those,

whittling away and finally, clearly, exposing what needed to be told.

The story of loss, the saga of death and

the crack that needed to be healed once

the story grew wings and leapt into the roof of my mouth,

over my rasp-red tongue and out,

into the world where it should have been all along.