It was a Saturday afternoon in June
and the sun shone down on our naked skin
as we passionately embraced and met soft lips and gazed into each other’s eyes
as we began to make love……..
doesn’t really happen that way.
The real story goes:
we had this deep, we knew each other in another life,
powerful, magical thing going on
but between me getting tired of you being high all the time
and you getting tired of hearing my mouth
when you showed up two hours late every time we got together,
and then there was that little issue
surrounding you and some girl named Denise in the back room at a house party
it just didn’t work out—
but I have faith in love, I do
and I’ve learned and I’ve grown and I know what I want.
I want to debate political issues
like Israel/Palestine and how exactly does the Chinese government operate?
And what’s happened in this country since the civil rights movement?
I want to do lap dances on your intellect and wrap my legs around your conscience
and do cartwheels and back flips on your inner most self,
that vulnerable side we all have where we hide away things
that never should have happened and pretend that your dad didn’t leave you, leave us–
why do so many black men abandon their children?
I want to discuss this with you and dialogue about how that’s not always true
and that some black men hold nothing in higher regard than their families
and how when we have children you would fit that description
and I want to whisper with Donny Hathaway and Stevie Wonder in the background
and Nina Simone sparking conversation
and I could break out my Native American tribal music and you would like it
and inquire more knowledge about whatever it is
I know that you don’t know
and whatever it is you know that I don’t know and
I want to relate to you how much Billie Holiday means to me,
how she sings to me and clings to me
and I feel like my soul is being rocked lovingly
and how I cry sometimes
cause Miles Davis hits that note so beautifully on Kind of Blue
Clarence Thomas is actually allowed to decide that there should be no punishment for a prison
guard who beat ten teeth out of the mouth of a young prisoner
cause he stepped out of line
but Mumia Abu Jamal and Leonard Peltier are locked up in cellblocks?!
I want to explain to you how happy I am Lenny Kravitz exists
and how much I look up to Lonette McKee
and then–I’d probably have to remind you who she is,
but that’s okay cause most guys haven’t seen Sparkle, but they have seen The Mack,
which will then segue us into blaxploitation and Blacula
and why that’s significant to me and only me and you will listen and be intrigued
and feel for me—but not sorry
cause you’ll have your own sad stories to share and you will
and we’ll actually look deeply into each other’s eyes but not corny like, but for real
cause you are the one that fits and I am the one that matches,
and we are vibing and not even trying, but falling and walking
with grown up eyes into love.
But what is love?
I want to talk about this with you
over herbal tea or martinis or coffee or coronas–
whatever meets your fancy, cause this is about you and this is about me.
I want to talk about Greek mythology and African history
and why plastic surgery doesn’t become illegal
when you make yourself look like an alien
and why people of color all over the world
judge themselves according to a European standard of beauty.
I want to tell you all about Saphronia
and why she is not tragic and how the story really goes and you’ll care
and I want to decide with you who really made earth
and if we can remember our births and
do flowers mind when you pick them for me on my birthday?
Because you would.
And I wouldn’t mind, cause really
all I want is somebody to admire the sky with
and I think you might really like it too,
if you would just
look. this. way.
Gina Loring is an accomplished poet, vocalist, songwriter, and workshop facilitator. She has guest lectured at countless colleges, universities, and high schools nationwide. As guest poet of the American Embassy, she has traveled to Kuwait, Russia, West Africa, Denmark, Turkey, Greece, Ireland, England, and Tunisia. She was featured on two seasons of HBO’s Def Poetry, as well as on BET’s Lyric Cafe and TVOne’s Verses and Flow. With a B.A. from Spelman College and an M.F.A. from Antioch University, Gina served as poet-in-residence at Culver Academies and writer-in-residence at Hedgebrook. She is a volunteer creative writing teacher with Inside Out Writers, working with incarcerated teens. Her work is featured on De La Soul’s album, “Are you in?” and The Brand New Heavies album, “We Won’t Stop,”and she was a writer/performer on Norman Lear’s nationwide “Declare Yourself” poetry tour. She lives in Los Angeles, and she believes in mermaids. Visit her at: www.ginaloring.com