30 DAYS OF JAYE-DAY 15: Altar Call

Normalize the Divinity of Black women

normalize the struts

the color and shape of

Lip, mouth and hip

normalize what it means to be Black.

Black, brown and honey-colored

in the color of walnut

and even the color of midnight sky–

normalize what it means

to speak when spoken to

and needed to–

Things which must be

changed, may only be

because of her presence: things seen and unseen

Normalize what it means

to have your swag be unstoppabl

and you’re code switch impeccable

but in a place by which

Black is clearly king

normalize space looking like you–

filled with people like you–

and the doors open for more people

like you and normalize

what it means to

turn the world upside down

And in to make it Black!

normalize what it means

to be in Melaninated skin

with hands up for worship

and praise break.

Change legacy,

Change stations and

to be on every station!

Normalize what it means

to be Black because

to be Black is to encompass

all things from

mathematical tools to

the greatest inventions to

the greatest notes from the

13 that are given

and the most dope phrases

any emcee could ever utter

No–

whiteness has no place here.

It does not have the strength.

It does not have the weight

it does not have the

swiftness of thought

to encompass all that Black contains!

We have been the beginning

and will be at the end

for our children are

seeds, our tears have been

rain and our range

has become ocean and storm

cleans a land of what no longer

needs to be there you say

we are ancestral

we are the

I am in the I am is within us.

JBHarris, April 2021

30 DAYS OF JAYE-DAY 14: Thoughts In A Mirror

I want to go home to my mother

in the land with my fathers rules benevolent

in lands that were wide and gold..

I want to go home where the sun

is a shade of black

I want to go home to

my cousins and my aunts

Uncles, my nieces and nephews

lost the time and chance and I want to embrace them

as only family can

So they can see their cousin

Their niece their daughter

from long across the sea

Through time magic

And will

has come home —

changed and weathered, yes

but home

and I am afraid the when

my feet touch shores that my grandparents

were stolen

from that they may not

know who I am

-JBHarris, 9.18.21

30 DAYS OF JAYE-DAY 13: Mama’s Gun Is In Her Purse

My best friend told me to get a gun for protection

she said, “The world is crazy!”

she said it looking around,

I couldn’t help but remember exactly

how crazy the world was–

even as soon will be.

My sister told me to get a gun

to keep it in my purse.

keep it with me

like I do my lipstick, my mirror, and my car keys.

keep it by me with me always

so in case

I need to defend myself

from the world that itself determines

to superimpose itself on me.

my sister told me to get a gun

and keep it in my house–

keep it locked up tight!

keep it for when somebody

tries to break in on me

and I can defend myself

and all those who

I hold dear to me

my best friend–

told me to get a gun

realizing that it has to be

small enough to

fit inside my bag

and you can still be

small enough to hide

from my children,

and any grandchildren

I may have.

I told my love I was

going to get a gun and

he said, “you need to let me show you how to use it. “

because he doesn’t want me hurt.

my best friend told me to get a gun

because Brother Malcolm said

that the most unprotected person

in this nation are the women

who look like me…

at the intersection of Black and woman

with eternity at her back and future in her belly

I am both threat and conquest and prey.

But praytell where do the strong go with the stronger come after her?

Perhaps this is why my grandma meant when

she said, “Have a nice day”.

because peace indeed is steel.

-JBHarris, 10.2.2021

30 DAYS OF JAYE-DAY 12-Cherry Pop

Note: This work will be in Next Lifetime Things. –JBH

I want him.

I want him deep inside me

Where breath becomes water

And oceans are born

Beneath you both.

The skill of being opened

And filled,

Plied by the hunger of his hands

Moving me into him,

Back on to him,

On top and underneath him…

Because I want him.

Badly.

I want the deep,deep places

Unlocked—

My mind and body linked

And willing following along

Gold tracks where touch

Is wanted…

Where fingerprints are

Etched deeper than kisses.

I wanted him.

I need more of him.

My love, Take me home again.

-JBHarris, 10.25.2021

30 DAYS OF JAYE-DAY 11: Reflection From the Back Porch Swing

He got me thinking about next lifetime things

Quiet things

Things that you catch in Mason jars on hot nights things

Greedy things

Grown women things

Red lipstick and talking fastThings

Things that fast the girls do with their

Mouths and thighs things

He got me thinking about what it will be like to wake up to him every day things

he got me running around trying to stay fine things

He got me wondering in the sunshine things

He got me wondering if I can really love him like I want to love him things

He got me thinking about how different it would be this time things

He got me thinking I might just love him things

He got me thinking about “do I got the strength for an us” things

start over again things

Late night call things

Early morning things

Making love in the shower things

Kisses in the back of church services things

Sneaking off and nobody is watching but only he can see things

Thinking about what it would be like to call his name like the angelic host things…

Then I smile

and drink my sweet tea

Catching those

Butterflies in my

Belly both he and the

Night put there

like a good Southern Belle should

-JBHarris, October 2021

30 DAYS OF JAYE-DAY 10: All Whom Wander

Note: This work will also be included in The Death of Peter Parker & Other Fairy Tales. -JBH

He says that he will offer me himself hole in pristine this affection long lasting and deep to still be mine to slap upon when ever I need him. I needed him in the ways that I pleaded for him to be all of me and all of him and all of us in this thing called together between the waiting in the waiting in the world and the last with us this skitter of time in space and place converging over and over over the course of decades willing one of us to either let go or make a decision to stay and I stayed I stayed and I prayed and I gave and gave over and gave into until I was under underwater that was fueled by my own tears wishing that he would see me underneath the waves of my own agony bending and rebuilding and becoming what he whispered I could be to him… Perfect. Perfect and beautiful and sexy and his and open and spread and and and and he said that when sleeping beauty first woke up she blink their eyes because she could not believe she was awake and not dead. But they don’t tell you is that while she was sleeping the world was much more quiet and there was none to bother her.

JBHarris, Feb 2022

30 DAYS OF JAYE-DAY 9: Morning Glory

Note: This work will be in the book The Death of Peter Parker & Other Fairy Tales. Look for this in June 2022. -JBHarris

I was once chosen–

beholded suites soft nimble and agile lovemaking ever present everlasting enfolding back into us us inside of the last inside of the love and inside of each other feasting upon the treasures and secrets both held under clothes I was his imperfect and he divine in my eyes in all things it right with his crooked smile he was my wonderland in his Alice in him with hair and hatter we were exquisite not wondering how far soon was

JBHarris, February 2022

30 DAYS OF JAYE-DAY 8: Today I Am Gunpowder

Today I am gun powder

Dry hot volatile.

Not for the scary neither am I for the amateur.

Today I am gunpowder ready quiet and steady.

Today I am gunpowder loaded and full of heat to the point that my feed themselves or hot when I walk on every piece of ground and every fortunate to rain at all of my frame house inside vessel contain. Today I sit at my desk wondering is today the day that I realize my own power and use that and launch out of here until where I’m supposed to be at. Today I am gunpowder

Let the rebellion of my ancestors with a rifle in hand ready and willing and able to die for such freedom so that my children will never know the leak in weight of what it is to be in case or tree is chattel into what they have not created

Today I am gunpowder let’s my own pride being the fuse refusing to bow refusing to be shaken and destructive and all the tries to box me in

-JBHarris, July 2021