Virgin In Her 20's

I am a writer. If there is any left over, then I'll be a woman.

“The word “art” is something the West has never understood. Art is supposed to be a part of a community. Like, scholars are supposed to be a part of a community… Art is to decorate people’s houses, their skin, their clothes, to make them expand their minds, and it’s supposed to be right in the community, where they can have it when they want it… It’s supposed to be as essential as a grocery store… that’s the only way art can function naturally.”

—   Amiri Baraka (via iloverainandcoffee)

(Source: westindians, via howitzerliterarysociety)


-for JJZ

Your skin is not too much gold leaf speckling a mosaic wall

looters come to pilfer. Pride

reduced to flecks in mortar. Still it is

precious to me. So I protect you.

Brother, your lies are as good as gold around here

such currency and regalia,

the way I dressed our mother in them:

            He’s clean now momma.

            He’s got a job now momma.

            He’s looking for the ring.

Oh how she shined in them.

Oh how I made her shine.


I wish you were in bed with me

I sometimes need a pillow

between my legs and two fingers

in my mouth.

I’m not a little  girl. I’m a good girl

who wants to know where her next vice is coming from.

And your thumb looks ripe enough.

How bout I ask nicely

the sky if it can’t

for one night be my womb—

how many kites or planes or wads of spit

or white-winged egrets can fit

inside a sail.

I keep an extra pregnancy

test on me,

what with all this water around.

In case I feel pregnant again

and you aren’t here to tell me

it’s not yours.

The coast I know feels too far to say for sure

and you were a boat

just last week

with a moan of fog caught

above your brow

begging to be let over the bow

to dissipate atop the ocean.

I like this game

Where it rains

And under my jeans my thighs know it.

What else grows besides a rolling lust

a bowling hunger

a swollen river, a crack of thunder.

My new poem Songs for Flight about restlessness and wanderlust. If you ever felt like you don’t belong anywhere you’ve been then…

Anonymous asked: (CONTINUED)My other brown friends. And they've told me that it's cus brown families are really judgmental and he has to take it slow. But I mean, how slow is slow? Do you think I'm overreacting? I'm just tryna get a fresh, outside perspective on the whole situation is all. Thanks in advance.

I think you have to seriously ask yourself how long you can wait. I have had friends in the same situation who’s significant others never told their parents about them and they wasted so many years on that vain hope. It’s not a matter of timing. It’s a matter of courage. You know that God has called a man to leave his family and cleave to his wife. Your boyfriend has a choice to make, a choice that will never go away. Either he will make it or he will grow tired of hiding from his parents and chose a girl who he feels like he is expected to be with. But you also have a choice to make. How long do you want to wait? What if he never introduces you? Are you ok with living in the shadows?


My stomach is a dark hole with direction and I burn some name in it. 

                         It turns to fuel. The time 

                                                           for benevolent love is over: opened

            Joshua tree. In the grip of its branches 

                        a goblet to catch the dribble-down sky. God doesn’t

weep. He’s finished. He’s famished. He’s drooling

from the aisles of his mouth. 

                                                                   Damn it if love don’t fall straight, 

if its retrograde. If it does mercury’s 

            crawl backwards

                                    dart forward for it. On to the end. Due north

            to the very clavicle of winter. I jump and I pump my legs. 

Some boys is poison.

Some boys are the only diamond you’ll ever wear. I wore

             the restaurateur and the preacher’s son till they wouldn’t come off

                                                                                                     in the tub ,

                                                            and a boy with no roots until he found the place on me my folks forgot to give a proper burial,

            to wash at my Christening. His love 

                                                      was five acts long with a funeral

in every scene. 

I wore black to keep the flies at bay. The honey in my tea 

            was sand. It was sand. Because the only thing that wasn’t claimed

was the strip of beach between my breasts whiter than the flesh

                        that begs a man.

           Here X. This Flag X Means X. I’ve  Been X  Discovered  

for the Crown

                                                                                                                                                                                                on  your head was made of garlands. 

                         You of the gazelle, you covered in hair, you the grassland.

Snake who guzzles the meat of its tail, 

            wrecking and calcifying your own myth. You, stone God

who demands East and West of sacrifice, the heart in 30 seconds or less. You prophet casting dawn and other spells 

                       over me. Baptized. Bewitched. THE FLOOD IS A FIXTURE.                                                                                                         

Everywhere it fits around

            the ankles. Around my wrists, around waist, the neck. Down the throat and in the eyes and through the ears which have no permanent closure

                                     against the ragged jewel of your voice.

I wore my garments into the world and shed them cruelly like teeth in milk,

            only you rejoiced.

; ; ;

You hold my legs open like the arms

of a scissor and thrust 

your penis between

but not inside. Only


the same way a customer service clerk

at Macy’s opens the scissors and uses

one edge to curl a ribbon.


A few more thrusts & you’re

a spiral.


I don’t climax and yet I like this game more than you do—

It lets me know I’m a razor.

I make crooked paths straight. 

Anonymous asked: People have asked you this before I'm sure.. and you've probably answered this a few times..but what is 'Paris in the Rain' about exactly?

About being in love in Paris in the rain.

Anonymous asked: what's your usual writing routine? do you still write when you have no will nor inspiration to do so?

Absolutely. You have to do at least one thing for the betterment of your craft every day. Whether that is write, edit, read, analyze, submit. Got to.

Anonymous asked: Miss harris i am thinkin bout take my own life i am a single mother tryin to make a dollar out of fifty cent i am tellin you because some how i think you might care if you dont then i understand

Tell God how you really feel. Then ask him to meet you in this place of darkness, exhaustion, exasperation, pain. Death is not an answer. Striving only ceases when you enter God’s rest. And God’s rest is active. God’s rest is his purpose. You woman are created for a divine purpose. God delights in you. Take delight in him and find your purpose.