“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...
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.
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
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
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.