missa solemnis

when i woke up the sky was already blue with a wide stroke of peach and i held it with my eyes hoping it would be enough to hush the crowded lobby in my head. i fell back asleep, so to speak, and when i woke the sky was already grey and i imagined a summer that had traces of you.

i am writing this with my hand and my mind is in his apartment instructing my mouth to tell him things about myself because i just want to try because i just think we should because it felt like escape and made the world disappear as he played his guitar and i became thirteen again. 

stop killing black people

by bahia bahia

stop killing black people
millennium emmet till sequel
system change at the pace of a stand still
there’s a gun inna ya hand still
justice! cried the young black man’s will, 
there’s a gun inna ya hand still
justice! mama’s cry rang out shrill,
there’s a gun inna ya hand still.

stop killing black people, like you don’t know equal (know nuthin)
stop killing black people, like you don’t know equal (know nuthin, heeey)

stop killing my brothers and sisters
turning laugh and gaff into ghost whispers
from your haunting ways
bare stress all day and into the night
you lookin at me, man? you’re the true cause of the fight. 
you lookin at me, man? you’re the true cause of the fright. 
taking taxes to build the axes to chop we, down
taking wages to stage and play this, criminality (brutality)
is you the problem, not me

stop killing black people (people, people, people, people)
stop killing black people (people, people, people, people)

you bettah check yourself
cuz murderation is really really bad for your health (retaliation)
but murderation is really really good for your wealth
lawless, law tricks, pulled from the top of the shelf
interwoven oppression, means no need to be stealth
this is an injustice! heeey 
this is an injustice! heeey. (what we gonna do about it?)
this is an injustice! heeey. (what we gonna do about it?) 
this is an injustice! heeey. 
what we gonna do about it?



take these broken wings

all through life we dance with death and never see its face. it only speaks in shadows, the language of remains. some will swim towards it, some negotiate a plea, but death is what we came for, this breath an in between. we fill the gap with joy, we fill it up with pain, but no one knows the face of death, only its remains. 

booklist #1 {addendum}

i would also like to mention:

11. native son - richard wright

12. the lunatic - anthony c. winkler

13. the autobiography of malcolm x - alex haley

14. the autobiography of my mother - jamaica kincaid

15. jazz - toni morrison

16. down and out in paris and london - george orwell

17. tender is the night - f. scott fitzgerald

18. tar baby - toni morrison

19. half of a yellow sun - chimamanda ngozi adichie

20. the history of mary prince - mary prince


(oh i could just go on forever & ever … <3 )

booklist #1

my friend olga polga asked me to list ten books that influenced me:


1. love - toni morrison
2. their eyes were watching god - zora neale hurston
3. the brief and wondrous life of oscar wao - junot diaz
4. purple hibiscus - chimamanda ngozi adichie
5. the bfg - roald dahl
6. the coldest winter ever - sister souljah
7. the picture of dorian gray - oscar wilde
8. wild seed - octavia butler
9. sassafrass, cyprus & indigo - ntozake shange
10. teaching my mother how to give birth - warsan shire



i was in the back seat of the car, looking out the window, deciding that mustard fields were unnaturally yellow. i didn’t even like mustard at that point, and had only seen the hot dog kind, which was, come to think of it, also unnaturally yellow. clearly, something was wrong with mustard. 


my friend was driving and singing along to a song that was playing out on a mix cd called roadtrippinballs. her window was down and single stands of dark blonde hair floated into my personal back seat area. i immediately looked for split ends. i found none. 


i’ve never liked the term 'shotgun' for the seat in the car that also happens to be the most dangerous. i think it’s an unlucky omen to attach to a very risque position and i also believe that naming is claiming and rhyming is timing.


the joint was finally passed my way. the end was wet and i thought about how grossed out my mother would be if she knew that i was putting something this wet in my mouth. but i was teenager committed to rebelling. i inhaled deeply and held my breath. my brain started to float and a feeling of quiet success crept within my skins. 


i’ve never really done anything that bad. yet. i haven’t really done anything that bad yet, but i will, i just haven’t decided exactly what right now and i don’t want to waste it on a whole bunch of little things. i just want to do one very bad thing. or two. but maybe just one. something memorable. something that sets into motion a wave of satisfaction that will ripple through me for at least the next ten years after which i’ll have to do something bad again to rejuvenate the feeling but at least i’d be familiar with it and got to spend some time feeling satisfied. 


i exhaled and immediately felt like sleeping. the sky was large and blue. there was a pool of water at the end of the road that was definitely a set up. probably pigs, i thought in a voice that sounded like the bottom of the ocean. oh wait - it’s a mirage, i thought in my regular voice. i always forget about those probably because i don’t understand them. 


a red car drove past us. there was a man driving, maybe in his forties. it looked like his wife was beside him. it looked like they hadn’t spoken in years. 


highway1 by bahia watson © 2014

but not sad


speechless. words like kites, floating and unimportant. joy surrounding like music but with no air in my lungs there is no song to speak of on my lips. if i slept through a thousand days and nights nothing would change but the rent i am owing? am i turning into overcast? have i been leaking? oh, what a luxurious wail to swallow and ooze. we both can agree it is gross, it is me, and if i was to drop on my head in a forest, then i would make a sound, certainly. to lure in the earthworms, to make me their feast. let them toast in delight to the delicious rot that has dropped onto their dirt and dust-filled plates. just let them indulge, let them eat me, for the best parts have already left to wander the dark beyond the sky.

why i never got on the flight


when she sits under a palm tree, i bet the roots die. i bet the trenches flood, spilling murky water all over the island of our memory. i left with a crust of trust: dry and brittle and dissolving. so you lay by a pool with her? artificial water suits that salty scene. that sickening blue, a false reflection of the sky. can’t you smell that? the chunk of flesh she tore out of my thigh? it lives in her pocket. rotting. it’s like she can’t catch a whiff of the sour turn her life took. hands charred from setting other women on fire. dancing in the flames. djing the party.

come craft me out of concrete


she wore leopard print, trying to remember something, although her future she imagined heavily draped in thick, red velvet and intricate black lace. why all the weight? she wondered, even though deep down she knew exactly why: there was a secret lake beneath her skin that was only recently discovered and no one had ever reached the bottom of, not even herself. what if it’s atlantis? she worried, and started linking symptoms resembling acid reflux with the potential smog of an industrial society living off fossilized feelings in the depths of her soul. on occasion she could catch glimpses of what was hidden by the dark - flashes of strange glowing shapes - like the kinds that live behind your eyelids but more sullen. she was rain disguised as desert, her trusty container. loyal, yet not quite air tight, for on bumpy patches she would puddle embarrassingly. however, some times, the bumps were of the pleasing variety in which case she would puddle for other reasons. many other reasons. some reasons smelled like burning. my grandfather is a chameleon, was the soundbite she used to explain away her talent for disappearing. it was all procedure at this point: she dulls and she clouds, until temperatures drop and stars awaken. that’s when she rolls out, sloshing and thirsty, sitting on a distant memory of the wild. on a stoop. boiling.

writing workshop with warsan

it’s just my nature, i ruin love. like dough it’s supposed to be light like pastry but i’ve overkneaded it and it won’t rise. touched it too much at crucial moments exposing it too early like a developing photograph, i leave fingerprints on it’s darkness. i’ve overshone on it’s light. i’m too green about it, they say. fresh energy that irritates and confuses. they think i’m a cartoon, unreal, they don’t believe my love. sometimes i don’t. maybe it’s the picture, the dream that i’m swooning over, the idea. mohammed, ishmael, noah all of them lead me to waters i over drank. i over watered our flowers, drowning our love til the roots rotted and the leaves yellowed and fell like petals but not on our bed, on the dirt on the dust, our memory faded before my eyes while i was still standing amidst it. i missed it before it even left. i longed for the tickling spices they fed me, the heat, the complexity, the flavours they brought me from afar. without love my life feels churned out. days upon days like a factory line. greys upon greys, i feel guilt for how i chased the colours away, how i turn the greens to pale yellows to greys upon days i am left missing and missing over again. there are pieces of my love i’ve neatly folded into a suitcase, neatly tucked away and locked with a strange combination as key. a riddle i dare you to attempt a guess. i dare anyone try to love this again. (why would you?)