Silence Cannot Be Condoned

I was a 17 year old Senior at Jennings Senior High School in Missouri when Matthew Shephard was murdered by two bigots in Laramie, Wyoming. Little did I know, I would lose my father almost 2 months later.

I am asked why I am so passionate, and so involved in aspects of social justice. This and Pedro Zammora, from the show THE REAL WORLD,  were turning points for me. I remember how helpless I felt, how sad I was, and how FUCKING ANGRY I became. I remember television stories, the newspapers and the cable news outlets about him and Matt Shepherd. I remember his mother crying on an MTV commercial which was an anti-defamation commercial. I remember crying…and not understanding how someone could be so evil and do this to someone just because they are gay.

I remember portion of the funeral being broadcasted on television and the thing that struck me was there was this church that had the signs GOD HATES FAGS and FAGS BURN IN HELL. In my infancy in the Christian faith, I had not even been exposed that level of hate and ignorance. I had no idea it existed. What I found later is that this “church” was the Westboro Baptist Church: a hate group. They are not a church. These “men” beat him and left him outside…to die. An officer on patrol found him 18 hours later. This group of people whom say they love and serve the same God I do, were doing this. Little did I know a decade and change later, I get called to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

That sign, those actions, his family have stuck with me. The heartbreak of his mother, especially her eyes, bore into me. I’m glad they did. That allows my heart to remain soft, and in that, I cannot afford to become callous as to what effects other people, both like and unlike, in this world.

I am aware of what the Bible says concerning SIN, NOT JUST homosexuality. I believe the Bible, my Bible, cover to cover. I believe in its redemptive, restorative, transformative power using God’s greatest weapons:  love, time and patience (2 Peter 3:9). I believe in the radical, consuming power of God according to Luke 1:37, for if HE is involved all things are never final and can be handled. I understand the mandate of the Gospel, and its standard. I cannot change that, will not change that. I also know that as an ambassador of Christ, a minister of this Great Gospel, I have neither the right nor would I ever deny ANYONE the opportunity of  Christ from ANYONE matter where they may be found.

In this dispensation of time, in this era of neo-fascism, I understand my role as pastor, minister, wife and mother with such intimacy, which I try to execute with some finesse. In the documentary I watched tonight,  documentaries I have watched concerning Matthew Shepherd, I came across this one moment. Matthew was in search of help and assistance, he was depressed (from documentary, MATT SHEPHERD IS A FRIEND OF MINE). He went to a church near his home in Colorado, and found a woman there, the documentary doesn’t mention her name. Rather than offer him the help and love found in Jesus Christ, she told him that ‘all gays go to Hell’. To this I offer this retort–all sin is an abomination to God. Not JUST this seemingly unforgivable one being gay. My question is this, “Why didn’t you offer HIM, JESUS! Why not offer him TOO the love, the shelter, the peace of Christ?! Why not?!”

I have said on a myriad of occasions, I would rather have my child alive and sinning, than gone with no hope. NO MATTER WHAT SIN IT IS.

NO MATTER WHAT SIN IT IS.

NO MATTER WHAT SIN IT IS.

NO MATTER WHAT SIN IT IS.

The Apostle Paul says that such were WE before Christ (1 Corinthians 6:11). How quickly we forget, and want to whitewash our lives before Christ, when the book of Revelation says that WE overcome by the blood of the Lamb and word of our testimony (Revelation 12:11). Just because someone’s life experiences are alien to you, does not mean they are discounted. If someone didn’t doesn’t believe as you do, does not mean they are less than human. If someone is not the same shade as you, does not mean their life is less than. We are to tell the truth in LOVE, and have the rest be known and handled by God. That is my job as a believer in Christ, before any addendum are added. I told my husband that the best summation of the Gospel is this:

My Daddy wants all his kids home, and he left us a key. Our job is to get everyone there. The church is supposed to be that lighthouse, that porchlight, as a signpost to get everyone home. Those that attend, have the keys. Those keys should be given to all whom are lost, whom wander, whom are afraid. We are not to deny those keys to those that desire rest and home.”

I offer those whom wander, whom are lost, whom are in need of love, the same thing that was offered to me…LOVE, unabashed and unrestrained. You cannot say you love the Lord, and hate any of His people…regardless of where they are or lay or what their story is.

The Church must be willing to throw on the light, and all those that leave from it become such a light. No matter whom may ring our bells to try and come home.

 

 

 

Sunrises

In working nights for almost a year, and having been a mother for the last decade, I am still mystified by the rising of the sun each morning.  I look forward to that crossing over from night to day. I look forward to the alpenglow. I get upset when I don’t see it right away.

Since I was a girl, I have been fascinated with light, especially sunlight. I would sleep in the sun to stay warm, watch my skin look more honey and browned while I absorbed all the sun gave. Now, those same sunrises have different meaning.

I work in healthcare, I have seen people pass before suns rise. I have seen people look past the light in their rooms to the unknown and known–those hands that reach forward and back. I have seen people with their dimming of their eyes like candles near open windows. I have seen them fight for the lingering light.

I have seen Death.

I have walked halls, in and out of rooms, looking for it. I have assessed, reassessed, charted and reported any signs of him. This  entity that has residence that hopelessness unlocks and unrolls mats for. It lingers in doorways, in lobbies, in the faces of us that look in faces looking for evidence that he is not present. We ward him off with our uniforms and medicine and tools—so they can yet see the sun.

The patron saints of this profession are Florence Nightingale and Hippocrates. Hippocrates gave a natural basis for the physical ailments. Florence was reported and noted to go up and down her halls seeing those she was carrying for. They knew it was her, that they would be okay, because of the light she carried.

Working overnight gives us a unique heritage to follow. We fight for those whom can’t for the preservation of their life…and their light. Sunrises are best above ground.

HISTORY MAKING #1

She watched him perched in a sycamore tree in back of his house.  She began to adjust her weight so she could be able to gaze upon him without disturbing surrounding branches. She saw him clearly, she could even count his eyelashes as the eerie light flickered from his television set into his blue eyes. She watched him as he had eaten dinner, and stetched out over the sofa. There was a woman he lived with,  his wife she presumed. She scoffed every time she saw her. Incomparable.  She was ordinary looking. She had chosen what this wife perceived to be hers. He would no longer have such shackles to this life.  She watched him sleeping then, calm at last. She smiled watching is chest rise and fall. She had to remember he couldn’t  see her, she wouldn’t allow herself to be seen…not yet.  All that was in her that was still woman wanted to abscound with him, he was hers. Six hundred years in the blood hadn’t changed what she knew she wanted. Perserved eternally at 31, she still and was assumed to be much younger. She lept to the roof, feet bare under the cresent moon she followed the scent that belong to his wife. She watched her, hanging from the rafter of the second floor. She watched this woman, hoping to see what would possess this woman to believe he was hers. She had a walnut brown face, long hair, braided into an upswept style wide set eyes and a figure indicative of at least 2 children.  She was readying for bed, she watched her five-foot-four inch frame walk from the closet to the bathroom of the master bathroom. She noticed the bed was still made. Odd, especially if they were supposed to be married. She smiled inside. “Cracks in the armour.” She whispered. She heard the bathroom water run, thinking her thoughts insignificant enough to discern again. In a acrobat formation, she dimounted from her rafter back to the first floor window. She watched him, hands to window pane. She watched him toss and turn over the sofa. The shrew hadn’t even given him a blanket for comfort. That idle detail, the want of warmth and comfort, she committed to memory. She had to be armed with as much as she could so when  she prepared to take him as her own, she wanted no qualm. She would study him.

She remembered when she saw him, getting gas for his dark green Honda Civic about a week prior. Such a responsible young man to drive a Honda.  She had just woken up from her slumber and she walked not even 7 feet in front of him, caught his scent before she saw him. She walked around the hood of his car, she was already hungry and she didn’t want to make that hunger worse. What made her stop is he almost tripped over her as he tried to open the door for her to go inside the gas station.  Her grey eyes caught his blue ones asshe stammered, and giggled nervously. “I’m sorry…I just…” She held up her hand, “No problem.” She whispered.  Her sneakers carried her softly away to the alcohol in the back of the store. She grabbed her bottle of Merlot,and watched for her clumsy gentleman. Under raven colored bangs, she watched him scour from beer to snack food settling on a bottled water. As he walked to the counter, he could still smell him. “Polo Black.” She said to herself. He was about six-foot-one, short dark hair, and eyes…his eyes were these pool of noon tide. His gait was rushed, perhaps a woman he had to attend to. She pouted.  She walked to the counter, paid for her Merlot, grinning as the clerk returned her change.  “Have a nice night, darling.” He older man said from behind the counter, adjusting his wire rimmed glasses. She smirked at him, “I surely will try.” Her sultry voice causing a rosy flush over his wrinkled face.

She walked outside, the fall air tousling her hair, as she ran a hand through the raven tresses, her Merlot in her brown  shopping bag. Her black pea coat hanging open to reveal the sway of her hip towards him. He hadn’t gotten in the car yet, and as she approached he seemed more focused than startled. “Hey.” She said. “You okay?” She said gesturing back to the step in front of the glass door. He nodded, his crooked smile evident. “I’m okay.” She studied his eyes again, held them. Married.  She’s pregnant. He’s unhappy. Lonely.  He knows she’s cheating. Heartbroken. Think she;s gorgeous. Wants to kiss her. “Yasmine.” She said smiling back at him.  “Michael.” “Pleased to meet you.” She smiled. She turned on her heels, sauntering away. Her eyes darkened, and mouth watered, fangs  cresting through her pale gums. “See you around, Michael.” She walked off, hearing his car drive off in the distance.

She walked around to the garage, the large door was down and side door shut. She caressed the window of the door, pushed it, shattering the glass. She reached in, to unlock the knob. Her bare feet and jeans scraping across the cool floor. She found his car closest to the door, and caressed the hood, warmth still lingering. She adjusted her tobacco colored leather jacket. She could smell him stronger than the motor oil, paint and gas that was housed inside. She walked the length of his car, heard footsteps that were not hers nearby. She paused, eyes fixed on the door. She didn’t want Michael to see her…not yet. She closed her eyes, listened for him. She heard his heartbeat, and music playing in sync with it. She heard him laugh, sweeter than the music.  He was on the phone with his sister. She giggled. She tried the driver’s side door. Unlocked, sat in it and closed her eyes. She let his lingering warmth attach to the leather housed on her body. She could just take him from this life, make him, make him hers. She smiled, the thought. She wrapped her hands around the steering wheel as if she were holding his hands. She could slaughter the one whom stood in the way of her destined. She could burn the house down and take him as her sister Gaia had done a century and a half earlier to get her Chosen. She smiled. Gaia was always the more aggressive of the two of them. She made James in the woods not 30 feet away as the house burned to the ground, as the icy adulteress laid inside, sick from the laudanum she’d given to her. Gaia and James were in Rome at the present, in love and immortal.

She had loves for their lifetimes, never making any of them. She had always been afraid to make the mortal immortal. She had marriages before, human ones of course, four…and made a widow 3 times by the passing of time to their hearts and minds. She had loved them all of course, but she loved them enough to give them life…not, the quasilife she walked in and through. The decision to make the immortal mortal is not one to be taken lightly. After Gaia’s rebellion against familial advice, she was that much more leary of such a decision. She had to know more about Michael. She had to know more. The thought of him as forever frozen as a young man, his eyes aware and altered by her blood, him forever being hers, delighted her to the roots of her hair. He would be hers. She leaned forward and kissed the steering wheel before getting out of the car, slamming the door.

She deliberately walked in front of the garage, across the lawn looking through the window. His back was to the window, and she stopped. She stared, watching him type and stare intently at the screen intrigued her, excited her. She walked closer to the front window, watching him almost simultaneously move back from the desk. His eyes caught her wide grey ones again. There was a tingling that went through him, she felt it. She smiled, he grinned, and then turned and walked away.

WATCHTOWER BRIDE

“The sun will be settin soon, cher.”  Her mother sat knitting by the fireplace. Harlow kept her eyes to the reddening sky. Leaning against the balcony, rail she watched Lake Ponchatrain. “I know.”  She listened to the streetcars below, and Ms. Obear fussing at her youngest son not to eat the benegeies she just made. “He ain’t comin, Harry.” Harlow shifted her weight against the balcony. “I ain’t waitin on him.”

 

Her mother rocked, chuckling to herself. Harlow kept her position, watching the sky go from crimson to navy. “See, you gon be onna dem watchtower brides. Watching for a man that aint yours, by no means, and ain’t worried about chew.” Harlow sucked her teeth. “I aint waiting on him, mama.”  Her mother chuckled harder,  keeping her eyes on her stitching. “You is waiting on him. He ain’t thankin bout you.” Harlow walked away from the balcony, past her mother and toward the stairs towards her room. She shook her hair out as she went, the wood warm under her feet.

 

Harlow, in  her room, sat behind her door, head in her hands. She replayed the last night again. She remembered how he smelled, his mouth tasted. It was dark, as he held her to him.  She remembered the streetlights outside Metatarie Cemetery, how shiny slick the wrought iron gating was. “Wait for me, Nina.” She kissed him, needing the memory of his mouth to hush the fear inside her. “I’ll come get you.” Kisses then. “Before you know it, I’ll be there. You can’t hide from me.” His eyes read into her, looking for the no in her. “I don’t know if I can.”

 

Months passed. Letters exchanged at rendezvous points, left under benches and behind street signs. He was okay. He loved her. She was his baby. I miss you, Nina. Every week, there was a letter. She was constantly walking in their space, in-between the world seen and felt. She hadn’t gone to the Quarter in a week, she had been ill. Headaches. Chills. Body aches. Her palms were slick with tears, remembering him. “I’ll wait, Nick. Imma wait.”

 

 

 

 

 

NEVER AS IT WILL BE

“The sun is bright this morning,” she mused, sipping coffee slowly on her front porch. With feet bare and hair in thick curls, framing her pecan colored face. She looked towards the direction of the sun. In her sipping, she wondered if he was doing the same thing. Could at that exact moment could he be drinking coffee, watching the sun, thinking of her. She smiled at the justice of that thought. Could it be that what the old women say was true? The heart wants who it wants, it never listens to your head. She smiled, the light of that thought warmed her better than the sun.

 

The habit of being awake early began with the carrying of her first child, insomnia made her nights days with the sun her signal to sleep. She rocked in the porch swing, happy the house was quiet that she may hear her own thoughts, and see them through. Married life suited her, yes. She knew to be faithful, forsaking every other and clinging to her husband so the two of them could be one flesh. Their life was supposed to have a cadence, a loved rhythm they planned aside from what could be found writhing on bedsheets. The passion would be cyclic, she knew. She knew how to be a wife, knowledge of position didn’t push her to the front porch in her robe, with a chemise underneath. He did.

 

This angel of her own making, this man-made god of her youth and imaginations. He whom she saw when she heard music, or closed her eyes. The heat produced at the christening of his name over her tongue was unlike anything she had. Of course, she he knew to have him would be to forfeit her destiny, her blood, her responsibility. It would be to change the course of her path in the worst and most incredible way possible. She held on to the blue coffee cup, her head resting on the back of her thumbs and didn’t fight the tears this time. She recited the same prayer she had for the last few days. “Father, either remove him or give me whom my heart wants. Either way, Father this must change. It cannot bear to be his and be here. In Your grace I stand, In Your love I am complete. I thank you. Amen.” The tears where hot, flowing faster than the white porch paint could absorb them. The sobs then, the release not complete. She wanted to run to him, full speed. She wanted to take but her love for him and sprint towards him. Damn the rest, damn the rest of the all she was supposed to do that day. Through the fields before her, towards the sun, and not stop until he was in arms length of her own hands. She cursed softly then.  She began to will herself back to composure. She shoulders began to shake from sobbing. The sobbing, caused the coffee and its contents to spill over the porch and her feet. The heat from the coffee was a relief to pain in her heart. That burn was understood and could be explained, treated even. This, this inside heat, had no explanation. She couldn’t pray fast enough to keep ahead of it.  This pain outpaced her. When her eyes closed she saw him. The cruelty came when she opened them and he was gone.

While washing clothes, his ghost followed. She walked to the mailbox, he called her name. She washed dishes and wished his hands were around her, his chin in the meeting of her neck and collarbone. “Relief, Lord. Send it.” She loved him. She wanted him. She couldn’t have him. The screen door closed with a bang. “Mama, are you okay?” her daughter asked. Sitting up quickly, she made no attempt to dry her face. “I’ll be okay, baby.” She smiled then.  Her daughter’s eyes seems to search her own. She believed her daughter  saw the lie but didn’t know what it was. She rose from her perch on her porch swing, picking up her coffee cup. She ushered her child back through the screen door, hand on her back. “Daddy wanted to know if you were going to drink coffee with him this morning. He has his cup already, Mama.” She shook her head behind her daughter. “No, I don’t think I will, baby. I already had some. I have other stuff I have to do this morning.”

 

MATE FOR LIFE

It was raining as he watched her skip over a puddle to her front door. Her hair was wet, but he could see her pecan brown face. He watched her fumble for her keys in her red bag, before going in. He had found her, with her scent he could never forget her. How could he? She was what, what whom he had sought for and wanted.  As she entered the house, he fought the urge to watch over, by watching sneaking in to watch her sleep. He would announce himself to her soon enough. “Soon, dearest one.” He whispered.

His mind went back to when he saw her three days ago. He was leaving work, it was just after sunset. She had with a coffee in one hand, glasses, reading a book. She sat In the back of Gill’s, smiled up at him. She had a heat that exuded from her. He sat across from her, soaking her up, taking her in. He motioned for one of the servers to come to his table. He wasn’t hungry, just thirsty. A blue shirted red head named Callie came over. “Beer, please.” He said.

“Budweiser, okay?”

 

“That’s fine.”

Callie dashed off, pencil behind her ear. He looked over at her again, noticing her eyes were brown. This scent he  knew, his tribe leaders had told him and the other young men coming of age. It was a hint to whom was to be yours, they would always say. The inception, he said, will be unlike anything before and nothing since. You will know the one purposed for you. Their scent will be a clue. Legend, he thought. Fairy tales.  It takes more to know someone than liking their perfume or cologne. That’s insane.

 

He watched he sip her coffee, her  full lips wrapping around the blue mug. Her eyes closed. Her lashes were thick and dark. Her dark hair, framing her face. Her legs slender, muscles detailed under the blue pencil skirt she wore, ending in black ballet flats on her feet. He counted how many times her chest rose and fell. He sat and felt his heart all but stop. Callie dropped off this beer, asked him if he needed something else. He didn’t look up, but paid for his beer and well over with the twenty he gave.  She looked over at him, smiled. Her eyes pulled him in.  He held them for a moment, before she looked down again.  She didn’t seem to notice or mind him staring at her. The blue wall above the brown paneling just made her stand out more. The want  welled up with him, was beyond sexual. It was beyond possession. It was protection of what was his. This must have been the love the elders spoke of, that one would just know once they experienced it. She returned to her cup and her book. When the server brought her check, he watched her reach in her red bag to pay it. He watched the form of her arm and shoulder as she reached for her wallet. She got up, and he saw her full height and shape. He noticed the backs of her calves and her waist detailed by her skirt.  She tipped the server, and he watched her turn to leave. She smelled of violets and honeysuckle. His mouth began to water as he began biting his lip. She was it. He couldn’t explain it, it was too radical to talk about. He drew a ring around his Budweiser watching the foam. The heat creeping up the back of his neck, a low growl rumbled in chest. He got up to go to the bathroom, pushing past the blonde texting on her cell phone without looking up. He shut the door behind him, before going over to the sink. He gripped the front of the sink. He felt the pull in his shoulders, indicating the wolf was rising from him. “Not here. Not now.” Phasing in public was not unheard of, but with this new feeling, this unfounded inception, he was hesitant of his ability to control it. Hold it together, Michael. Hold it together. He looked up into his own changed reflection. The calm blue of his eyes, became their green-gold counterpart. He concentrated, willing  to  pull the wolf back in.  Her I have to find her. Feeling steady, he smoothed his University of Miami shirt, smoothed his hair. His forehead glistened with new sweat, as his eyes reverted back. He had to talk to the elders. He had to have her. He would have her.

 

That need brought him to her apartment. He could find her in snow or desert. She was his now. His. He looked for her light to go out, remarking at the silhouette of his intended against the gold curtain of her bedroom. He remembered the shape of her hip. The rise of her breast as she turned from the window, and loved the way she shook her hair out before turning off the light. He closed his eyes, imagined her taste, her warmth underneath him. He even imagined what it would be like to phase in front of her and have her stroke his fur, or nestle her feet in it.  The inception will be like no other love you will ever have. The elders spoke this to generations of young males of their pack. There would always be eye rolling along the  males, the girls accepted it as medicinal gospel. “Scoff now,” the elders would say, “when you experience it? It will be impossible to explain it or pull away from.” He checked his reflection in the rearview mirror again. His eyes were phasing. “Soon.” He said. “Soon.”

 

 

Erasure

It isn’t enough that the foundation of this nation was poured with blood, sweat and bone of the people whom were enslaved, oppressed and murdered. It isn’t enough that the proceeding 44 presidents we of the same ilk as the “founders of this great nation.” No, now we have the system in place that is pledged, has pledged, the utter destruction of this nation. The threat of an Obama legacy must be eradicated.

So in that eradication, the-this Republican party as aligned itself with the bare-base of its “supporters”. Has pledged no speech, no seek, no action that dare be contrary to the kakistocracy, plutocracy planned. How DARE a black man RUN our country?

And there we have it…

Behind the veils of sophomoric legality and assuaged compromise, we have point blank and rudimentary racism. The GOP has destined itself for destruction of epic proportion and happy to take us all along with it.

It is far beyond reason and reasoning now, the crux being those that decided to dissuade the “better angels of our nature” are now faced with the vultures whom wait for the last pulse of hope for better in the bodies of those that remain. It has become more important to re-establish every fetter, chain and weight attached to the life of this nation that was. This idol worship of the past, remembrance of all things white and unfair. The worship of exploitation and oppression, the grandiose affections of power leading to the death and dismantling of entire peoples.

How luscious it is to be drunk with such power? To have the ability with thought and word to condemn, scorn, rip and upend the lives of those you must subvert in order to feel superior?  How those whom support this dogma, how it begins to root within them, how they lust for that power again…

At the last death throes of this system, where those whom were last strive to be first, and have attained the highest office in the land, here comes the kicks and screams of those whom have always had, believing that all they have gotten has been under and in their own strength. Now, that this is revealed not to be so, and at worse FADING (God FORBID it be fair!), they grab onto air and memory–the what was.

To have it truly again, be ‘what it was’, all traces of the undesirables must be scrubbed from national memory. There is just one problem with that. There are single memories and their are corporate memories. Single memories are specific to person, easily dismissed. Corporate memories are not so–too many people have seen and witnessed. This is what is known as HISTORY.

We know there was change, has been change and will be change. We are alive and remain. We know that President Barack H. Obama did as best as he could in the face of racism, fear, subversion, oppression, sabotage, and utter legislative irresponsibility and inaction on the part of Congress. Yet, he stood–unbowed. Yet, a portion of nation he swore to defend, lead and protect still called him to bow in the presence of white supremacy at the name of nigger.

See, we remember. We shall remember. We do remember. We cannot forget the best of us, whom in the face of the worse of us, did the best for us. This means we have no choice, BUT resist such erasure. We will resist such erasure–the nature of our mutual humanity demands it.