my initials are BA. stands for badass
Bradley Senior College.png

The Last Semester


in my youth
fear flies around the caverns of my ribs
because of you,
fiery ball levitating
amongst cool clouds
but whose touch
like a conniving kidnapper
made me construe
that you try to take me
from my home
under the bedsheets of
the red white and blue

though my birth happens when you float longest amongst the clouds
my tongue, body, and mind all crave
the season
the season
when the western hands of time fall back 60 revolutions
it means less of you
sending signals to the secretions
sprinting in the red viscous liquid
throughout the branches and trunk of my body
devolving me
into the other:
allowing my alienation

but without you
depression pressures in
rocks me with wicked kindness
cradles me like quicksand
luring me like a fish
to gulp this idea
i look better in the dark
without you

i dread your arrival this week
i dread when the cold of the berkeley bubble
you and i
reluctant fusing again

i and you
waiting outside
scorched snout
possessive paws
preparing to pounce
my insides start to tighten
like my skateboard
hugging the pavement
turning, trying
evading, swerving
from pain

but change occurs in our encounter

my body tastes your presence
my stomach relaxes rather than contracts
my mind
but you clear it
smoothing out depression’s sand
still sitting in my body

every speck of my glowing
hibernating like a hedgehog
spikes up
at your touch
not offense
not defense
but acceptance of our fusing

once i do
you whisk my mind down inside
the dark metal chest
that Tiyong Mariano
during the 1920s
toils to transport from the Philippines
my roots

you exfoliate the openings
of my face
dirty from my hands
from taking
this structured mess
to cover my face

my reaction
previous embarrassment
but now
my reaction
uncontrollable affection
my body drips with desire
for you
to plant me
like the kind of sugar
Pops puts in his oatmeal

you chisel my body
like her steady hands
one of the last Kalinga
lola’s best friend
skilled to etch
uneven streaks of
but delightful distinction
from the snow whites under the fairy tales of the USA

this week
fear flees away
i misconstrue
your outstretched arms
from so far
kidnap, no
reclaim, yes
your chest envelops me
claims me
from those throwing shade
under the red, white, & blue

you remind me that
no barcode sticks to me
like them
but that i,
a Brown sinew
manifests from your likeness

the poem this week focuses on vertical rhythm which are other guidelines involved in poetry for the people. basically, it uses many forms of figure of speech. this poem is about me learning to love my brown skin. a dramatic effect is missing, but this is in the works. i actually wrote the majority of this while i was on a run this week. just something about the sun filling my pores with vitamin d snapped me a little bit out of the other d or seasonal depression.

Bradley AfroilanComment