Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Know the Ledge

Today a friend of mine stood on the ledge. I had to talk him down. Tomorrow is his birthday. He didn't want it to come. Funny how hard times can make us not want to celebrate anything at all. Funny how nothing is funny when you're broke. Sometimes you get tired of watching dreams catch trains that are departing your life.

I talked my friend, momentarily, out of depression. "We warriors, fam," I said. "We gotta stay up. We gotta look the bad spirit in its face and say 'Fuck you. You won't claim me.'"

My boy felt the passion in my voice. He knows some of what I've gone through this year. He knows what I've been through over the years, he was there when I was broke as hell and spent every other day pulling dreams off trains and tying them up in my basement.

Back then I held on.

Faith is a muthaf*cka. I kept my dreams. I kept on the grind. I didn't talk about it too much. I was it. I hope I still have that fire.

One day, in 2004, I looked up and saw something so beautiful I knew immediately who she was. It was almost like she was slipped inside my world like some unbelievable blessing, something I couldn't conceive or imagine if I had years to try. She was what I needed and wanted and more than what I knew I needed and wanted. That's how God is, when he gives.

So it helped to remember my dream battles, my struggles, broke-ness, my blessing, my triumphs, and that day in 2004. It helped talk my friend down from his ledge. For I know the ledge. Used to spend nights there; used to sit there and gaze out at the incandescent city. Used to listen to Rakim and understand the story that was written between the genius lines he spit.

Used to. Used to? No. Still do.

Because the truth is that we should all know the ledge. We should all get intimate with it. And we should never let it claim us.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

And God Created Woman

How can I get over you? Get past you? When, in reality, you are at the end of every road.

The passenger in my car.

The reason for the drive. The fuel, the passion, the everything; the perfect imperfection-ism, made

You are woman.

Subtle and extreme.

You are woman. Soft, warm, here; far away.

You are woman, and we-- men-- we need you. More than you need us?

I don't think so.

But it doesn't matter. Our insanities are fed and left hungry by you.

We can never be satisfied.

Your brown thighs, honey-colored fingertips, cinnamon frosted lips, black feet.

We love you in your Cuban mood, Midwestern stance, African flair; Japanese, Sicilian, Greek, Brazilian, Parisian, Russian, Puerto Rican, South Side, West Side, my side of the bed...


We need you.

So I can't get over you, get past you. Straight up, I saw you just the other day.

You were following me on 71st Street. But still, you walked ahead of me too.

That is our story, love:

I will lead you like a man should. And follow you to the end of every road.