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28 Short Lectures on Touch

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“There is always something left to love. And if you ain’t learned that, you ain’t learned nothing.”
- Lorraine Hansberry

Adrianne Embry is a native of the Far Eastside of Indianapolis. She is currently attending Indiana University where she will be receiving her bachelor's degree in theatre in the fall. Adrianne is one of the founders and co presidents of Indiana University’s Black Brown & Beige Theatre Troupe. She was also a co-host for the Bloomington Poetry Slam.

Welcome to the Poets Weave. I'm Romayne Rubinas Dorsey. Adrianne, what poems have you brought for us today?

 

After Ari Lennox

It’s May 7th and Ari Lennox just released her debut album “Shea Butter Baby”

I text my girl, who’s not my girl asking her “what you on tonight”

She out of touch          of course

I only know her by her mouth            by my own wanting

I call her friend when she decides to touch me

I’m stressing and need to be devoured by a sin I won’t claim as my own

So I walk to my kitchen baring my breasts against the moonlight

I inspect my arsenal:

Bacardi           Jim Beam        Wine

“I’ve been drinking too much.” but I go with Bacardi anyway

“Not my usual choice.”

But I’ve not been myself lately.

 

I was dancing to the silk of Ari Lennox’s voice as I was burning sage

and it set on fire. Let me tell you. I got demons.

They all look like me.             How funny.

One of them follows me around in a black hood leaving a

trail of blood behind her. She say she come from the future.

 

This is why I can’t be alone.

 

I text my girl, who’s not my girl again

“I need to learn how to stop falling into distractions”

She smell of coco butter though

My tongue comes at her beckoning but can never recall

her name          it’s always calling her the wrong name.

 

It’s May 20th. Ari Lennox still playing

I’m saging the crib with my tits out because

I read this is supposed to help you embrace your

femininity or whatever. I soak in the bath...

barely.

 

            I can’t relax. Got to keep moving

but I don’t. Too focused on this burn in my

throat. At least the sage didn’t set on fire.

At least my girlfriend who’s not my girlfriend hit me up.

 

Pretty Things

It’s my junior year of high school

Our speech team picnic was coming up

so we decided to go together. Us friends.

 

Unaware of the love we could possess for one another.

I learned that love cannot be possessive through your wanting

I’ve always wanted you to be free

Pretty things

 

I feed sugar water to wasps knowing they’ll kill me

It’s now and I’m getting my hair braided

Me and ol’ girl singing to Rihanna “Needed Me”

Confessing our broken

 

Something about sis is soothing

Maybe we just sharing the same hurt

Regardless, I braided my hair because of you

 

In the now

 

You got me feeling all broken and different

Have me moaning other names which i am not

accustomed to.

 

You said our love cannot be possessive so you

use your water to feed pretty mouths not my own.

 

And ain’t that the water I gave you to begin wit

 
 

28 Short Lectures On Touch

If when I wake and my arm is asleep I will still adjust it around you. There will never be an opportunity to love a black woman that I will be ok with missing.

Our toes touch as if to say we home here

Sidenote: I believe letting your bare feet touch is an advanced level of intimacy that all couples must advance to.

Sort of like pooping with the door open for the first time.

The touch of the warm wind on the first day of spring feels like you

How the sound of birds chirping falls on my ears feels like you

You feel like the punch in the arm of a homie when she laughing

You feel like love  like the sound of prayer coming from Aunt Vicky specifically

You feel like a well greased scalp       and thank you for greasing my scalp for me

You are a black woman’s hymn

You got my singing your name everywhere I go

Lungs know touch too

Knows the specific air created to support me singing your name

Even when we lay on two separate couches I will reach across just to feel you there

I always want to be gifted by your touch

O' girl do you smell like coco butter and blessings

The air kisses your skin as your arm reaches for me

And we touch

And we touch

And we touch

 

You've been listening to the poetry of Adrianne Embry on the Poets Weave. I'm Romayne Rubinas Dorsey. 

Playing footsie.

(rt69, flickr/wikimedia)

“There is always something left to love. And if you ain’t learned that, you ain’t learned nothing.”
- Lorraine Hansberry

Adrianne Embry is a native of the Far Eastside of Indianapolis. She is currently attending Indiana University where she will be receiving her bachelor's degree in theatre in the fall. Adrianne is one of the founders and co-presidents of Indiana University’s Black Brown & Beige Theatre Troupe. She was also a co-host for the Bloomington Poetry Slam.

On this edition of the Poets Weave, Adrianne reads "After Ari Lennox," "Pretty Things," and "28 Short Lectures on Touch."

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