I’m curious about love. Like, how does it show up for the little brown girl from Kentucky who lives inside this worldly urban renaissance woman I liken myself to be nowadays? Is it just a mirage? A fictional oasis that I desire to drink from but doesn’t really exist on the plane in which I live. A narrative that is forever out of reach. Does adding an adjective in front of it devalue love’s core meaning? Familial Love, Sister Love, Black Love. Or does love illuminate in the face of such revelatory descriptors. Oh Black Love…that one is so wrought with tension.
Black don’t crack love
Except on the inside love
Black as the sun’s graffiti on my skin love
Black under cover love
Black in the night love
So Black, I fight love
Black Love…the kind of love that has to fight for its existence. The kind of love that, by its very presence, is an exception for some; a rebellion against all the limited definitions offered in place of it. Black love is the kind of love that’s always uncertain. Always anticipating the next shoe to drop. For a partner to be torn away from one’s body and heart by hatred or injustice or his or her or their own inner demons born from the residue of hatred and injustice and round and round we go on the carousel of Black emotions, Black tears, and on the sweetest of of occasions, Black joy.
Black love is tentative at best and yet so rich that I just want to sink my teeth into it like the decadent sweet thing it is. Like a 7 up cake made by Nanny in her 4th floor walk up with butter she bought from the corner store. Dripping with the kind of melt in your mouth flavor that only comes from an investment of time. Time way too many of us don’t have. Which is why we rush. Which is why we run. Steady checking on my love. Steady checking for my love. Steady wanting love to leap inside of me and fill me up. To ride the sinews of every nerve ending in my body into those spaces and places that are so so dark and so so hidden that I don’t even know where they are. I just feel them. The holes in my soul. And I want them filled by any means necessary.
They tell me that no matter whether the love is black or brown or white or like the night or like the cake I remember from childhood, it will never be filling. And that deeply disappoints me. They say that only the God of the heavens can make me whole. Can put me back together again even as I am broken over and over and over again and again by life and men and women and teachers and students and those who were suppose to love me but didn’t and those who did love me but couldn’t show me or those who wanted to love me but didn’t know how or those who chose not to love but to hurt me and hurt me bad. They stuck their pain inside my pain and didn’t care how much or how long I screamed, didn’t care how much their words and actions copied my pain in triplicate. Didn’t care how much it would change my brain and my life forever and ever and now these folks, these people who have never left those mahogany pews in 20 or 30 or 40 or a 100 years want to tell me that God can heal me, that God can lift my pain from the dark place and make me new again. They want to tell me that God is the only way and that the blood of Jesus covers me and so they lay their hands on me dripping with dollar store olive oil and they pray and tarry, tarry and pray and they speak in shabbas and oboshos and even a few ashogotahs and I walk away feeling strange because I know that they believe that God lives in their hands and that God lives in their hearts and that God can take the crow bar of the cross and crack open my soul so that the pain can come rushing out like the tide, like waves crashing against the shore of my salvation and yes, in one singular instant, in one moment of clarity, in one side-eye filled second of revelation, I realize that…
…they are right.
They are right.
They are right.
But not in the way they think. Not in the way they believe.
Nevertheless, they are right.
And I have no idea what to do with that.