girls doing.

did you want to see me broken?

you may write me down in history
with your bitter, twisted lies,
you may tread me in the very dirt
but still, like dust,

i rise.

does my sassiness upset you?

why are you beset with gloom?
just ’cause i walk as if i have oil wells
pumping in my living room.

just like suns and like moons,
with the certainty of tides,
just like hopes springing high,

still i rise.

did you want to see me broken?

bowed head and lowered eyes?
shoulders falling down like teardrops,
weakened by my soulful cries?

does my sassiness upset you?

don’t take it so hard just cause i laugh [hah]
as if i got gold mines
diggin’ in my own back yard. did you want to see me broken?

blue elephants

when you’re a kid, you color with reckless abandon.

 // you color outside the lines.

// you color however you feel.

blue elephants,
purple trees,
red bears,
green oceans —

it’s all good.

as you get older, though, everyone tells you to stay inside the lines,

to color everything just like you see it.

you end up painting by numbers¹²³ —

whether you actually paint — or — whether you write — or — sing — or —
dance — or — act  — or — direct.

// i think you should create what you feel //

// create outside the lines //

i want to watch green oceans and red bears.
i’d love to listen to purple trees.
and i long to read blue elephants.

utopia

island where all becomes clear.

solid ground beneath your feet.
the only roads are those that offer access.
bushes bend beneath the weight of proofs.

the tree of valid supposition grows here
with branches disentangled since time immemorial.

the tree of understanding, dazzlingly straight and simple,
sprouts by the spring called now i get it.

the thicker the woods, the vaster the vista:
the valley of obviously.

if any doubts arise, the wind dispels them instantly.

echoes stir unsummoned
and eagerly explain all the secrets of the worlds. utopia

after midnight

let the leftovers rot.
let the last candle burn.

let the clocks think
whatever they want.

this is the night,
says the night, you were given.

the hour, each hour,
you’ve lost.

so lean into me, love
kiss the blue children.

come cast our brief
shadows together.

let the wet branches lash
the black windows like death.

let me lie down
beside you forever.

not anyone who says

not anyone who says, “i’m going to be
careful and smart in matters of love,”
who says, “i’m going to choose slowly,
but only those lovers who didn’t choose
at all
but were, as it were, chosen
by something invisible not anyone who says

emblaze academy

There are currently 6,650 students on charter school waitlists in the South Bronx, a community in which fewer than one of every five students is currently on grade level in reading and math.

The students of the South Bronx deserve strong schools.

Because of that, I’m working as a founding member of Emblaze Academy— a proposed, tuition-free, college preparatory, public charter middle school expected to open in Fall 2018 in the South Bronx. We will have small group supports for all students, a longer school day and school year, strong partnerships with families, and all of our students will go to college.

Please click here to support Emblaze Academy and the children of the South Bronx. This petition is part of our approval process & we need to collect 500+ signatures.