C L O T H

I hesitate to call it a dream, the time we met outdoors beneath the light of the moon. Wolves were howling, the air was crisp, you put your hands on my waist and leaned in to kiss me. Closing my eyes I leaned into you to allow my lips to imprint upon your heart as we exchanged words of desire. You passionately and boldly printed upon my soul something that dared to overwrite the fears of the past as our fingers whispered back and forth along the others skin to compose a poem of longing, a song of freedom demanding to be played.

I know why yearning lovers write.


Believe I was around six when staying with my aunt in a small house on a farm with no animals, no neighbors, no trees and no noise. I don’t know where my mama was during this period in my life. She may have been gone for months or only a few days but regardless, my child mind could only calculate a time frame of forever.

Since I always trekked through dirt she made me take a bath every evening, coming in mid-bath with a white wash cloth and a bar of Ivory soap. She had me put my arms out towards her so she could scrub and until she’d gone over every inch of me without returning dirt to that wash cloth she didn’t consider me clean. She was angry at me on the days she felt need to use two wash cloths and though she never called me dirty I took her actions to mean I was.

When she wasn’t around I’d grab the white washcloth and scrub my skin until every inch was red knowing she was going to do the very same thing. The difference was that my rag would take the dirt off and when I was done scrubbing it would no longer be white. Afterwards I’d put my day clothes back on and hide the rag midways down the trash container in the kitchen somewhere between egg shells and bacon grease.

On the days when the cloth returned no hint of brown she’d let me sleep in the bed and not on the floor.

She had one book in the entire house and it had a picture of a black woman with an afro on the back cover. It was The Heart of a Woman by Maya Angelou. What I remember is reading the words and feeling them but not understanding them. Her words felt angry or sad to me though I couldn’t decide which but read anyways cause the way the words were strung together felt magical but mainly because the bird, its cage and song were to me a curious mystery.

My aunt left me alone in that house each day until evening and bath time. I had nothing to do but read that book and wander the dirt paths of the farm, weaving my way in and out of empty coops and cages wondering what happened to all the animals and why my aunt hated the dirt on my skin so much which back then I didn’t think to separate from hate of me.

The physical energies of the farm animal structures, my aunt and her house have long transformed to dust. The spirit of those animals and poems from that book imprinted on my heart and I would spend the next forty years of my life hiding wash clothes in trash containers in fear of my humanness, hiding my voice in fear of my song and hiding the key to my cage in fear of my wings.


Lovers write with pure presence and awareness, unaffected by man’s fleeting décalages. They write to free the muse into the arms of their embrace, to remind them of their natural purity, beauty and strength.

This is the music, the song of freedom that only Love can play and when played the world listens and cannot help but be inspired to join in chorus.

Love and inspire. This is what the heart of a woman does.