Black Love

Listen,

we are now (and have been) vibrating at different frequencies. 

My people, 

We are like Gold being sifted from the ground.

Sleeping and buried deep.

This shaking you’re feeling?

That’s our vibrations trembling the dirt around us, falling away.

It’s hard to shake it off at first. Painful even.

Now, it’s freedom.

It’s the literal weight of the world being lifted, shaken, crumbling, at OUR FEET. 

Because we are worth more than the dirt and sand that covered our natural bodies.

The ones that glow.

We are Gold coming to the surface to shine in the Light of the Sun!

There are no limits to what we can accomplish.

We have built and rebuilt NATIONS.

We are Light, We are Love.

And the World is about to know something it hasn’t known in a long time. 

BLACK LOVE. BLACK POWER

Watch Me Dance

I sip on my drink as the place fills with bodies and my body fills with spirits.

It gets hotter in here. I dressed for the occasion,

stepping out in heels as well as on a limb.

My body sways from side to side. As I feel my drink, I feel my hips.

I’m warm but comfortable.

A smile forms on my lips and a twinkle appears in my eyes.

Somehow my balance is easier.

I step forward from the wall where I was perched on to the middle of the dance floor.

My arms raise as I scoop my hips and pop my back.

I don’t know the song, but the song knows me.

My eyes make contact with those of the guitarist.

What is it with guitarists?

I don’t care. He sees me too, smiling with his eyes.

He knows this is why we came.

He sways with me, encouraging.

I slowly turn around, closing my eyes, feeling the rhythm.

It’s for me. I feel all the eyes on me.

It’s not what I came for, I just wanted to dance.

I love it.

Who is this mala mujer? Is she me?

My drinks get stronger and so do my thighs as I bend, and swing, and sway.

With every song that plays my vision gets blurrier but my confidence gets clearer.

Who is this bad woman anyway?

My company smiles with approval, I’m having a good time.

The drummer bangs and the lyricist rhymes.

The spotlights merge making colors no naked eye could see.

Somehow, here I am observing,

me.

I’m aware of my inebriation without a care.

I swing my hips, running my fingers through my hair.

Coqueta, they call me, and I understand why.

Although my glances are meant for no one else’s eyes.

A man approaches from behind me.

I’m the sexiest girl here, he came to remind me.

Slowly, he rests his hands on my hips as he whispers

“you’re very good”

through his soft, full lips.

I say nothing and smile.

I bend a little lower and gyrate with style.

Reggae is the music, with Caribbean flare,

he leads a little two step adding Latino in there.

My thighs are burning and my brow sweats.

The men all buy me drinks, placing their bets.

I accept none and continue to whine,

I’m by myself and that’s how I plan on going home tonight.

The women stare too, watching me sway,

wishing they too, could feel this way.

I’m not here to insight envy or steal a glance

I’m here now, so watch me dance.

She Reached For A Gun

It is not my job to educate any of you. But I will say this. I was really oblivious to the state of America at one point too. 

When Michael Brown was shot, I remember having lunch with my Mom. I remember hearing the news say that he had just robbed a store. I remember thinking 

“Well, there it is. He was wrong.” 

But I also remember how it didn’t just disappear after that. There were protests. People were upset, hurt, angry. Why? 

Because it wasn’t the first time. And it isn’t the last time. That was over 5 years ago. Today it is referred to as “Ferguson”, not “The MURDER of Michael Brown”. 

When I moved to St. Louis, I had no idea how close Ferguson really was. I remember my mom flipping out about how unsafe it was.

Shortly after settling into my 3rd temporary home here in St. Louis a year after the shooting, I started to see things differently. 

At first, I used to think it was diverse. Inclusive. There are all kinds of people from all kinds of places right here in the same city. I drove all around St. Louis’ 93 municipalities. Then I started to notice how it wasn’t all the same.

I was around more black people. I was in the homes of other black families. I realized that I really had no idea how black people lived outside of Mississippi. 

You’re looking a little confused now because… Kaleah, you’re black! 

Yes, I know that. But I’m also mixed. And I didn’t grow up around my father’s family. So my siblings and I were the only Black people in my immediate family.

Which made me the token.

The token Black friend who doesn’t “act Black” so their “Black card” can be taken for the simple fact that I haven’t seen Roots and I didn’t know who Sammy Davis Jr. was. 

(I have now seen all of roots)

In short: not Black enough for the Black kids. Not white at all, but I don’t “act Black” so I’m tolerated by the white kids.

Moving on.

I remember leaving the hospital after my friend had just given birth to a healthy, beautiful, baby boy. A Black baby boy. 

I was in the car with my friend, a Black masculine presenting female.

We were driving past the airport which, if you live in St. Louis, you know where this story is headed. And if you don’t, keep reading.

As we cruise through the middle lane, Tia reminds me that we are near the airport, St. Ann cops can be assholes, and I should definitely be going the speed limit.

I am aware of my speed and slow down.

There’s a car in front of me going BELOW the speed limit and now, so am I.

I shift into the passing lane to pass the vehicle, still abiding by traffic laws and speed limits. I see a police car on the shoulder and safely shift back into the middle lane.

Seconds later, I see lights. 

When we pull over to the shoulder the cop comes to the passenger door. I roll down the window and he proceeds to tell me that I was speeding. He asks for my license and registration which were both in my glove compartment box. 

Tia’s knees are directly in front of it. I tell him where it is and motion for her to grab it for me. 

I can tell you that it was at this moment I realized how wrong I had been all this time. 

The look in his eyes was so fearful. He snaps at her and asks if this was her vehicle.

When she responds “No” 

he says, “Then, what are you doing?”

“May I put my seat back so that she can reach it?” She asks.

Hesitantly he nods yes. 

I reach in and hand the officer my Mississippi Driver’s license. He walks to the back of my vehicle, checking out the Mississippi license plate, and back up to the passenger door glancing at my laptop bag through the back window on the way. 

Then he asks, “D’you get this from a used car dealer?” 

PAUSE: what kind of question is that!?” 

diD yOu gEt tHiS FrOm a UsEd CaR dEaLeR?

“I got it in Mississippi.” I say

Next question:

“What’s in the bag?”

This is the second time in a minute I realize how wrong I was all this time. This is also the part where most of you seem to have amnesia in similar situations. 

My laptop bag and the origin of my car had nothing to do with the reason for pulling me over. He accused me of speeding, but is asking me about the contents of my personal belongings and the place I purchased my vehicle?

DO I FIT A DESCRIPTION OR ARE YOU PULLING ME OVER FOR SPEEDING? 

My answer:

“Some clothes and a laptop.”

Next question:

“Are you a student?” 

WHY ARE YOU PROFILING ME? 

Agitated, I answer with a short “No.” 

He leaves to run my license and returns with a long piece of paper that I assume is my ticket. 

I take a moment to read. 

“Just sign” he says, irritated.

I scan a section that says I was going 10-15 miles over the speed limit.

“How do you know exactly how fast I was going? Can you print out an exact speed?” I ask. 

“It’s Lydar, a lazor detection system. There is no print out.” 

WHAT DOES THIS EVEN MEAN? How do you prove I was speeding!? 

I continue taking my sweet time reading the ticket.

You see, I just got a speeding ticket a couple weeks prior. I really was speeding. Doing 80 in a 60. What can I say?  I’m from Mississippi, the speed limit is 70.

That cop did not agree but he wasn’t an asshole about it. He told me to pay attention and remember that I’m not in Mississippi anymore. And he didn’t demand that I sign a ticket. 

“It’s not an admission of guilt, just sign it!” He yells through the window.

I mean I’ve obviously inconvenienced him by not fitting the criminal stereotype he was trying to impose upon me. His attitude is justified right? I mean we are the trained professionals in the situation here, the civilians. We are supposed to stay calm. Right? 

Oh, it’s the supposed to be other way around.  

So I end up signing the ticket and we go on our merry way only to realize that I missed my exit and had I gotten off the interstate before he pulled me over the story may have never unfolded.

And for that, I am grateful. Because that was the first time I think I really felt what everyone else was feeling. I saw what everyone else was seeing.

I understand that when we get pulled over we aren’t seen as people. We are seen as profiles and stereotypes.

They’re driving an out of state car with a bookbag in the back. It must be drugs.

“She reached for a gun”

This could have been my story. 

What makes my story different from theirs? 

From Michael Brown. Eric Garner. Tamir Rice. Phillando Castile. Alton Sterling. Sandra Bland. George Floyd.

I AM ALIVE

This is why #BlackLivesMatter is so important. 

Because if our lives already mattered to you, all of these people would be alive too. 

Now, let’s talk about it!

What Now?

Seventeen days ago, I ended my internship at the St. Louis Regional Chamber.

I planned on slowly releasing articles around my experience there. To be honest, I had too many experiences to group together and write about. I learned so many things in such a short time. It would be a disservice to myself and my readers to generically throw them together like a last minute high school paper.

Instead, I’m going to keep the memories as memories, and let them inspire my writing. My goal here is to add value to your life while figuring out mine.

The truth is, no one has it figured out. Seriously, no one.

But we are social creatures. We crave relate-ability and validation. We like listening to others’ stories if only to catch glimpses of our own.

Continue reading

Who I am

Gifted in school, also in life. Ostracized with intense eyes, light dimly glowed. Even though, feeling so low, strength, surely showed.

Creativity, strategy, skill. Frozen by the thrill yet somehow finding the will to keep going.

Many times, I kept going. Despite my will to exist, diminishing. The thought of dying isn’t scary to me. I often thought of death and imagined the feelings. Surrounded with mourning relatives like you.

Someone to be there one moment and gone the next. Scrambling to remember the last things they said.

I’ve had a lot of joy in my life. It’s important I pay attention to small details in the moment like the smell. I remember laying in the grass looking at the clouds enjoying the moment.

I was often called spacey but I was present in my moment. I’d often daydream about anything.

There’s No Room in my Womb

Not for you
Nor those who
Seek to spew
Their seeds and through me
hope to live anew
Vicariously

A seed sown with the intention
To terminate before it can germinate
Planted in spite, and a deep seeded hate
For the one who was late
And couldn’t wait
The 10 months it takes
To give him away

So now you take
And take
And take

take control wherever you can
Anything to feel like a man
Anything to feel power again

Because it takes two
But a woman’s body is one
Not entitled to give a son
But for you, anything

So you ask me
About a plan B
When really it’s plan C

To choose what you lose
When the answer so true
It’s not up to you

Now there’s no room in my womb
And it feels like a tomb
Consumed by gloom
Awaiting the doom

Brought forth by the moon
a deluge
Of blood and tears
Of former years
And those never to appear

Once upon a time this time was sacred
Full of magic and devoid of hatred
A time to celebrate
My body’s ability to create
Life from Love

But there is no love here
Only fear
Of the known and unknown

Planting seeds.
Pulling weeds

But the only difference between a flower and a weed is a judgement

One you can not make

Insanity

I wrote a song about my dad

based on feelings that I had.

Feeling incomplete and like I had to compete with a life frozen in time.

A name not mine. Although she’s divine, she’s not alive outside our minds.


When my sister died

I thought I could write through the pain

the world still turned the same

although I am not the same and it hurts to say her name.

A young Black woman

slain

by a man with a bottle stained on the forefront of his brain.

I stead of safety, how insane.

Games

If you're not ready, I can't make you. 
Making this trip but I can't take you

Feeling you around me
Your energy body found me.
When will your mind catch up?

Not trying to rush
I know it feels like too much.
Your heart in my hand
clutch.

You say you don't want to fall
afraid to land with your head in the sand
yet you're nowhere near the ground at all.

What is having it together
What is love without Letter

When will things get better?

She loves you but why wont you let her? 

Deserving more
From myself, from everyone else.
But they'll treat you how you let them
Can't beat you less you bet em
lessons you signed up for 
so get em

Now why would you do that TO yourself?

I can't force you. I don't want to . I have visions of me and you. 

Will the time come when I look back at feeling this way like it was stupid and everything was fine? 
Probably, and I'm okay with that. 


Healing doesn't look like sunshine

No one remembers the pain once it's past

they can't tap into a hurt they've released

subconsciously it's there it just doesn't hit the same

you dream of me, I know you do

You're not afraid of me, you're scared of you
Scared to be alone with thoughts so true

so you do to me what was done to you
but it doesnt help does it? 
it still hurts doesnt' it
and now I'm crying and inside you're dying
it all could have been avoided with some honesty
honestly
man up!

I contemplated getting drunk just to be honest with my feelings

sometimes I wish you'd do the same

in my sleep i call out your name

I'm tired of playing this game

I Did Something Powerful Today

Today, I did something powerful. I said no to a man.

Why is this so powerful?

Because I don’t think he expected it.

Sitting outside my workplace, waiting for me to end my shift, was a man twice my age.

Just a week ago, we had a friendly conversation about the work he does and the work I could see myself doing. Then he asked me out for a drink. I don’t drink. But I said yes because I couldn’t quite find a reason to say no. He seemed nice enough, although I’ll admit I was curious about his intentions.

The offer escalated to going to eat, a few days later as he followed me out to my car after work.

Photo by Ricardo Esquivel on Pexels.com

He approached me and leaned all into my personal space. At first I wasn’t too uncomfortable, or so I thought, until he reached toward my chest and grabbed hold of my neckless. My ankh. I felt trapped.

Trapped by my niceness, by my agreement to “have a drink”, by his physical presence.

He insisted that we go somewhere now, and asked me where I’d like to eat.

“My social battery is drained.” I plead. It wasn’t untrue.

Photo by KoolShooters on Pexels.com

I get up between 3:00 and 3:30 am to start work at 4:30am.

By noon, I’ve worked a full 8 hour shift, serving the neighborhood their coffee with a cheery voice and a big covered smile. I was tired, but I was also intimidated. He was so close to my personal space in a time when I just wanted to be alone and rest. It was uncomfortable.

As I squirmed in my seat, I offered to think on where I’d like to go, and negotated our meeting to the end of the week.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

On Tuesday, as he walked in the door, I fled to the back of the store. It was then, that I truely realized how uncomfortable he had made me. Why was I hiding from this man? I waited until I couldnt any longer because I promised my sister I would be home in time to take her to work that morning. I gathered my things and head for the door. He was still there.

“Hello,” I called, once he made eye contact and raised his eyebrows as if to say “I’ve been looking for you.” “I’m sorry, I’m in a rush! See you tomorrow!” I yelled as I hurried out the door.

I didn’t see him again until today, Saturday. The dreaded day I promised to go out with him. I saw him in the store again and thankfully I was busy enough to pretend I didn’t. When it was time for me to leave, I chatted with my coworkers in the back and snacked on a donut, buying time for him to leave and the coast to be clear.

As I gathered my things, I barely made it to my car before I saw him walking up and calling for my attention. I was reminded again that it is Saturday and I did agree to have some sort of idea of where to go by now. I told him I wasn’t quite sure where I wanted to go.

That’s when he did it again, he reached into my car window and moved my sweater to see the tattoo on my arm.

STOP IT, DON’T TOUCH ME, PLEASE KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF

were all thoughts in my head that simply wouldn’t come out of my mouth. Instead I smiled, and entertained his comments on my tattoo, even divulging what other tattoos I had and where they were.

Why couldn’t I just say no?

“You’re a different girl,” He said to me “You wear different jewelry and have different tattoos.”

I was triggered even more by his tone and these comments. I’m just a woman. I’m no more special than the next, and you telling me so does not make me feel connected to you in anyway. There’s nothing you can give me that I can’t give myself, besides the creeps.

He pointed to a restaurant in the same parking lot and offered for us to just sit there for awhile.

“I’m not really in the mood right now.” I say

“Okay, another time.” He confirms

“Why do you want to take me out?” I ask.

“To be friends.” He remarks, “If you don’t like, that’s okay.”

He started to back up a little bit and said “I’m just trying to be your friend.” as he gestured at me implicating he meant something different.

The look on my face must have given away my disinterest. “I’m just trying to be clear, I’m not interested in anything romantic.” I say, finally feeling better that I’ve found my voice to speak up for myself.

The look on his face said it all. His eyebrows raised and his eyes bulged out of his head.

“If you don’t want to be friends, thats fine!” he huffed.

“How about, I’ll see you here, and when I’m ready to go out as friends, I will let you know?” I ask, trying to peacefully resolve the situation.

“I’m not going to lose, you are going to lose, because I am a good friend!” He says, as he stumbles backwards and away from my vehicle.

It’s obvious that I’ve struck a nerve but I believe it is because he never had the intention of simply being my friend. He thought he would charm me with dinner, and get me to loosen up with a drink, and who knows what else. Maybe that’s my imagination, but I didn’t want to let it get that far. My intuition was telling me that I didn’t trust this man. I shouldn’t feel obligated to.

He pulled off quickly and I realized that it had been about an hour since he first came into the store. He had been waiting there for me the whole time.

I felt a slight twinge of guilt, that subsided as soon as I reminded myself that I have no need to feel guilty for speaking my truth.

The situation could have been scarier, and it wasn’t. I’m still very proud of myself for finding my voice, standing my ground, and speaking up for what I wanted and not what I felt like would bring about the least resistance. The problem essentially solved itself as he drove away, probably feeling rejected, but hopefully enough to deter him from further advancing.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

As I sit in my new favorite cafe I take a deep breath and feel gratitude for my new power.

Telling a man “no”.

A Flight

The city looks just as I expect it would from space. All the lights flickering like orange glitter.

The bird sways from side-to-side as we ascend.

It isn’t long before the dark grey, ghostly clouds appear.. whisping by.

Just as I start to miss the ground, the glittery lights, and the anthill-like busyness of the city below, the stars become visible. 

I’ve never seen the stars like this. So clear. I understand, now, how the ancient astrologers were able to discern the stories from the stars.

As I look out over the wings and into the sky, one-by-one, sparkles of light appear.

One, two, three, four stars arch to make a bow-like shape. A fifth appears opposite the four and now, five stars form the bow.

I tell myself that when we land, I’m going to search for constellations that depict archery. I know someone, somewhere a few thousand years ago, saw what I see now. 

That’s my thing though, I don’t usually see the same things as everyone else. However, this feels visceral. 

I pick up my phone, plug in my earbuds, and search Spotify for a playlist to listen to. 

I find one downloaded episode of Levar Burton Reads… Blur is the title.

I know this one. A tad bit creepy and surreal for my taste. I mean, I’m sure it’s a good story it just hits a little too close to home for me.

I decide to play it anyway and relax into my seat to breath deeply along with Levar.

The story starts as a woman makes her way into a rest stop. She’s on her way to visit a girlfriend who seems a bit controlling and possessive.

Like I said, a little too close to home.

Something I took away from the story:
Not knowing always leaves room for hope.

This was the start and foreshadowing of my 2020.

Life Update

So, we left off at Halloween. It was around noon when I published my last post, soon after my entire world flipped upside down!

Shortly after hitting publish, I started to feel a little nauseous.

I started on my makeup, preparing myself for the day’s events ahead. Not even 1 minute after I put on my lipstick, I started throwing up bile! It was not something I was unfamiliar with but I wasn’t understanding why this was happening to me. I decided to stay home (as I should) and rest.

I was able to explore some ancestry and charge my crystals. I set the intention to release all that no longer serves me.

Boy the universe answers quickly.

Not long after I wrapped up my practice, my stomach started aching. I laid on the couch and curled up in pain for what felt like several hours. My friend’s brother came home and after about an hour of crying, vomiting, and deliberation, I mustered up the courage to ask him to take me to the hospital.

When I arrived, I was hardly able to stand. I was provided with a wheelchair and a vomit bag while waiting. Shortly after checking in I was wheeled to a clinic room where my vitals were taken and blood was drawn.

It seemed like I was waiting forever, especially because I was in excruciating pain and vomiting non-stop. At some point I was informed that I would need a CT scan to diagnose my situation.

I was wheeled into a room where I laid on a table, steadied my breath, and did my best to not be claustrophobic.

The results of the scan were that my gal bladder seemed to be the culprit.

“This is normal, it happens often. A simple surgery will fix it. You’ll be right as rain in no time.”

Wow, just a few hours ago, I was living my life as normal. Now, I’m being told an organ is failing and it needs to be removed.

I was in so much pain that I couldn’t say no. I could hardly even think. The next morning, I was scheduled for surgery.

I had an ultrasound to confirm the inflammation in my gal bladder and if there were any possible stones. I don’t remember the doctor ever confirming that I was going to have surgery, I just remember the anesthesiologist checking in with me before hand.

Shortly after that, a man came into my room to give me a “limousine ride” down to the surgery wing. He pulled the rails up on my hospital bed and wheeled me out the door and into the elevator.

When we got to the surgery wing, I was asked if I had any questions or concerns and then given the sleeping gas. I still had a vomit bag in my hands as I was throwing up even before my surgery.

When I woke up, I didn’t even realize that I had already had surgery. I felt great! Well, great isn’t the word, but I wasn’t in excruciating pain any longer.

I was released on Tuesday, voting day.

My friend came to pick me up, took me to get my medication and some food, I watched her kid while she voted, and then she dropped me off to recover.

About a week later, I was propositioned with an opportunity to earn some money and travel. This is another story for another time. There are many details and it was a pretty traumatic experience so, stay tuned, I will be speaking on it.

Because I accepted this proposition, I found myself stranded in MINNESOTA! Where it’s COLD!

I was able to get a train ticket from Minnesota to Las Vegas where a friend of mine was living. A 54 hour train ride.

The details of such will be released sooner or later.

I stayed in Vegas for a few days, enjoying the views and speaking to the locals. I walked the strip and then I got terrible news.

My cousin called me to tell me that my sister, my little sister, was killed in a car accident.

I was shocked! I felt like I was dreaming. I called my father and he confirmed the tragedy and made arrangements for me to come home.

Home is where I am now. With family, celebrating the life and memory of my sister. Her services will be this weekend.

Sorry I don’t have much to say, it took a lot for me to muster the courage to write this in the first place.

I’ll be publishing a podcast episode soon.

Callaway Out!

Happy Halloween!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The time for tricks and treats is upon us!

There’s not a lot I have to say about Halloween and it makes me a little sad.

I’ve been out of touch with the holiday for a few years since the partner I was with did not entirely celebrate the holiday. So now, it’s Halloween in 2020 and I still feel clueless as to what I’m doing.

The funny thing is, I’ll be riding on a party bus this evening! I’ve always wanted to go to a Halloween party all dressed up and get shwasty. But this is not that. It’s a birthday celebration!

So, I’ll have to find a lowkey costume in my slowly shrinking wardrobe. I’ve got a fair amount of clothes, I just have to find the right balance of spooky and warm!

I am most excited for my makeup look! I got the Money snapshadow palette from Fenty Beauty and it comes with so many beautiful shades of green and gold! I believe I’ll be doing something reptilian.

Although I wont be trick or treating with the kids today, I will be enjoying my time as a young adult and enjoy socializing with friends.

I did have the inclination to learn about spirituality and rituals and ancestry today, but I think I might just focus on that this evening. I’ve recorded a podcast episode that comes out today and I will talk about some of these things in tomorrow’s episode!

I’m just dropping by to acknowledge the holiday and update you all on what I’ve got going on. More details to come later.

Happy Halloween!

My Ideal Life

If I had my “ideal life” today

I would live in my own apartment

I drink tea & read in the morning

I water my plants & cuddle my kitty

I do all my morning chores like laundry, make my bed, straighten the house, make breakfast & shower.

Then I start my my writing.

I write articles about my interests & submit journal entries as well.

I write about gardening, my spiritual practice, and any musings that come to mind.

After writing, I’ll make lunch then head out to run errands.

I visit art museums & galleries, go to coffee shops for inspiration & planning, and do grocery shopping.

At some point I do some form of exercise or socialize with friends.

Before dinner, I meditate and pray

I’ll cook dinner & eat.

After dinner comes planning, then reading, then evening routine, cleaning spaces, setting up for tomorrow, yoga, and sleep.

I travel at least once a month & Airbnb my place in the meantime.

I make $ by consulting & donations.