Love Medley

Starts in the chest
like an electric
guitar blowing
through the veins.

The palms sweat
from the warmth
of the drumming
against the bones.

When the music
lasts long enough
to call is something
sex is where the
bassing happens.

Light it up, baby
light it up until
every head in the
audience bobbles
in front of the
neon lights tonight.

Written by: Flose Boursiquot, July 8th
Inspired by: AWALL instrumental medley

Brain Blow

As I sit on the floor with tears at my feet, I pluck.
I want to unroot every loaded term I’ve ever heard from the matted dirt in my brain, especially the ones that hurt.
When my hands face my eyes, the prickles I’ve removed from my synapses lie cold in my palm.

Nigger— it no longer whips my bones and hangs my blood dry.
Bitch— my vagina remains unsettled.
Crazy— the anxiety traveling through my body doesn’t run and hide under blankets of shame for hours passed the legal eight.
Loud— my big, beautiful lips don’t chafe and blister with anger.
Unreligious— every cell in my body does it’s own unique dance without fear of awakening the angels; freedom.

I am now plucking faster, yanking at every root until there’s nothing left but bald. When I have achieved this, I look at myself in the mirror.

Wow, you. Here you are so untouched.

Then I step aside and watch the whole thing explode into something beautiful, so full of light and love. I inch closer, pick up the pieces and swallow each one like bits of alfalfa sprout.

Grow in my belly, grow so strong until society is no longer your trigger. 

 

Written by: Flose Boursiquot, July 6th

(Our) Negroes

It is a pain I rarely think about
It is a pain I bury
Then I see their faces:
Medgar
Martin
Malcolm

I am reminded of the young lives taken
The loved ones wailing
Legends murdered

Then the pain returns
It’s sharp
Despaired
Lethargic

It goes, slowly, with the voice of the narrator,
It will return later wanting evermore to have known these great men

Written By: Flose Boursiquot

Something edgy

Are you sure?
Yes.
So he begins.
Slim caramel fingers extending from a tattooed left arm.

I breathe, I’m sure.
The buzz of the razor is calming.
He starts from the back and soon the floor is covered with black and gray curls.

I breathe, I’m sure.
There’s an intimate dance the barber does as he stops to check with me.
I smile and hold the top in place.
He continues.

I breathe, I’m sure.
Two friends sent me about a dozen images for inspiration.
He’s managed to make this cut my own.
The more he takes off, the more I fall in love with my face.

I breathe, I’m sure.
I haven’t seen you in awhile my smile says to the nakedness in the mirror.
There’s something freeing about us meeting like this says the nakedness.

I breathe, I’m sure.
The barber finishes and leads me to the sink.
As he begins to wash my hair Ed Sheeran comes on.
Thinking out loud.
What an intimate dance we’re doing, the Barber and me, much like my mother and I did for many years.

I breathe, I’m sure.
Haircut 4

Written by: Flose Boursiquot 
June 13, 2017

Embrace

Mwen pa renmen jan li ap pede gade mwen. 

Mama never bothers to ask the young girl why she looks at her so much. All she knows is that those wondering brown eyes against that dark skin make her uncomfortable. It’s not the first time her family has taken in a restavek. Her parents are most often who families come to when their children become a burden. In her 10 years of life she’s seen six children trot through the front gate with a bundled plastic bag extending from their bellies. The conversations are always the same.

Madame Bougiyon, mwen pa ka pran swen l ankò. 

Twelve years ago, when Madame Bougiyon turned over in bed restlessly, her husband knew something was plaguing. It had been almost five months since they’d stop trying to have a baby; ten years since they’d started.

Cheri, kisa w genyen? 

He nudged closer to her, embracing her round body.

An nou adopte yon timoun. 

She had been rehearsing an elegant line to bring her husband across the finish line, but at this late hour, negotiation felt forced.

Si se sa ki ap fè kè ou kontan. 

Many in the neighborhood often laughed at Monsieur Bougiyon. It seems he always lets his wife have her way. Tonight he felt her breath release upon agreeing to adopt a child. From the time he was a young man, Monsieur Bougiyon had a different understanding of love than the young man who ran through his front yard.

Madame Bougiyon is not an easy woman to love, she wasn’t the first day they met at the lunch counter. Monsieur Bougiyon had just finished his morning shift at the hospital. It was around noon. In those days he was training as a nurse and only worked the first few hours after dawn. Madame Bougiyon worked as a teacher at the all girls school across from Papa Gil’s, the most popular lunch counter in all of La Vallee, Jacmel.

Anvan yè ti bòl diri sa te senk dola. Kounye a li sèt dolla. Sa pa moral, Filip. 

Monsieur Bougiyon looked around the room, wondered if he should just walk the five miles home and eat there, but he decided to do something no man had ever mustered the courage to try.

See Madame Bougiyon was quite a beauty. By far the best dressed of the new teachers at the school. Her breasts, like her attitude, stood firm, like melons underneath her carefully ironed dress suits. Although it was only her fourth year teaching, her students always scored the highest. Nuns would peek into her classroom with their wandering gaze. It is said they whispered that Madame Bougiyon was what they prayed for in silence. Others say, the devil sent her to play a sick joke on the catholic church. After-all, she was not a docile woman. Rumor has it that she once told the head priest to stick his cross in a place where the Holy Trinity does not belong. Oh no, don’t get the wrong impression. Madame Bougiyon is quite the religious woman; she’s first to get to church on Sunday and the most beautiful voice in the choir.

Standing in the doorway, Monsieur Bougiyon thought to do something no man had ever mustered the courage to try.

Filip, madmwazèl la gen yon rezon. Anvan yè m peye senk dolars pou ti bòl an diri sa. 

Madame Bougiyon stopped. Her eyebrows moved further apart and her fierce red lips stopped their wrinkle. Filip looked around his father’s restaurant in disbelief. Well, yes of course, the price for a bowl of cooked rice was merely five dollars yesterday. He upped the price, he’s allowed to do that, it’s his father’s restaurant. But see, Filip was not the kind of man who got so riled up on a Monday. He smiled at the woman in the gray dress suit and gave his soccer buddy a menacing look — what some friends will do for ass. His menaced look soon smirked, he wondered if Monsieur Bougiyon knew better than to seduce Madame Bougiyon. No man had ever mustered the courage to try.

Madame Bougiyon was still stopped. Monsieur Bougiyon offered to buy her lunch, she nodded, but she was still stopped. No man had stood up for her before, she simply never needed it. As a young girl, she was known to drag young boys from the waterfall and back to their mother’s wombs for no-good behavior. Rumor has it that she came out of her mother already a sturdy woman. She just sort of crawled her way out of the woman then scolded her father for not cutting the umbilical chord properly.

Monsieur Bougiyon fell in love with her in that way. She never hid any part of herself. Madame Bougiyon simply couldn’t hide much of who she was. Monsieur Bougiyon fell in love with her in that way. And as the story tells it, she fell in love with him too. He was the only one who could ever settle her down until she got soft enough to understand. Outsiders struggled to see her, but he got her soft enough to understand.

That night she cried in his arms. Legend tells it that Madame Bougiyon did not cry when she was born. But that night she cried in her husband’s arms. The tears were of joy. Many thought she was too hard to be a mother, but not her Filip.

A flower never grows in hard soil, the neighborhood women would whisper. A flower never grows in hard soil, her doctor thought that after the seventh miscarriage. A flower never grows in hard soil, Madame Bougiyon was beginning to think.

My wife makes nourishing soil, Monsieur Bougiyon knew. So that night he agreed to taking in other people’s children.

The next morning, with half of his stethoscope hanging from each side of his neck, he kissed her goodbye while she finished her espageti ak aransol. Madame Bougiyon started to eat it for breakfast every morning after her second miscarriage.

Ti bebe bezwen yon manman ki fò, cheri, mange sa pou mwen. 

Madame Bougiyon, Monsieur Bougiyon’s mother, patted Madame Bougiyon’s forehead. Her dotted white hand caressed the woman’s brown forehead. Madame Bougiyon was too weak to feed herself. This miscarriage had taken so much out of her. The baby had become so much of a baby that the doctor had her push it out. That thought kept her awake at night.

But the baby had become so much of a baby that I bought a crib.

But the baby had become so much of a baby that I sang sweet songs to it.

But that baby had become so much of a baby that I made it a jumper for its first night home.

Cheri, pa kriye. Oh, cheri, pa kriye. 

Madame Bougiyon moved closer to Madame Bougiyon and held her close. She never had a daughter. Four sons is what she had. Two of her babies miscarried so she might have had a daughter, but she never had a daughter.

Cheri, pa kriye. Oh, cheri, pa kriye. 

Madame Bougiyon held her daughter-in-law with softness. Madame Bougiyon was too hard for her to love when Monsieur Bougiyon brought her and Monsieur Bougiyon to the madmwazèl’s family home up where red earth covers everything. She was too hard to love for many years. Monsieur Bougiyon once heard his parents whispering about how the woman before Madame Bougiyon should have been their daughter. She was too hard to love for many years. Then one day the wise roots realized that hard soil is best for keeping weeds away.

Cheri, pa kriye. Oh, cheri, pa kriye.

Two years shy of Madame Bougiyon asking her husband to take in other people’s children, she became pregnant. It is true they were not trying this time. It is also true that she often became pregnant. There were no celebrations. It is said that Madame Bougiyon simply cried when she found out. It is said she was known to be the woman with the most miscarriages in La Vallee, Jacmel.

This one carried itself the whole way. Madame Bougiyon would not let Monsieur Bougiyon convince her to go see Ti Jean, the medicine man. This one carried itself the whole way.

It came out covered in blood and howling at the moon. Monsieur Bougiyon knew it would come with a vagina, but Madame Bougiyon refused to name it. This went on for three months. Madame Bougiyon, the child’s grandmother, would walk the eight miles to see it everyday. When it was time to leave she would look at Madame Bougiyon in despair and ask her to name her grandchild.

Bay ti bebe a yon non, cheri. Ba li yon non. 

Madame Bougiyon had grown to love the aging root, but she shook her head in disagreement. She also hadn’t gone to church since it was born. It is said that the church lost members in those three months, some even became protestants. What is a catholic church without beautiful singing and what is a choir without its leader. The nuns at the all girls school would run across the yard in a frenzy. The head priest of all the head priests was on his way in a couple of weeks and their best was nowhere in sight.

Monsieur Bougiyon had a different idea about these things, but he let Madame Bougiyon be. Then one morning with it suckling on her breast she said, Mama.

Mama.

Monsieur Bougiyon repeated the name until it became Mama. It was always meant to be a Mama he thought. Mama.

The first time Madame Bougiyon left the house with Mama in her arms she did so with a firm step. No lougarou dared to come near the child. Not even when Monsieur Bougiyon left medicine and went into politics. Legend has it that the child was born covered in blood and howling at the moon so no lougarou dared to come near what was dear to Mama.

Even with her own, Madame Bougiyon, never stopped taking in other people’s children. She, Monsieur Bougiyon and Mama had plenty, and so she never stopped taking in other people’s children.

 

Written by: Flose Boursiquot

I Control Your Lego Heart

You’re sitting on the bed across from me. It sits low and is covered with a blanket. Moments ago, my naked back rubbed against its flowery texture as your naked front embraced me. I look at you. There are words coming out of your mouth and light hairs on your mocha skin.

I’m sitting on a black chair, it’s your computer chair. You are wearing sweatpants, I am fully clothed. While fucking, you said “I love you,” I didn’t respond. It must have felt like love making to you then.

“It’s not that I don’t love you,” I want to say out loud but I refrain because the chorus is always the same. We’ve repeated these steps a hundred times these last five years. You felt compelled and asked me to come, so I did.

When you met me at the door, it was like you felt my presence. I didn’t have my phone and the call button to your apartment doesn’t work, but you knew I was coming. That I would be standing there at that moment waiting for you to let me in. You always let me in.

I just let you in. You ask, “do you regret it?” I look away. To the right of me there is a bookshelf, on it, there are books. I say I try not to regret things in life. That interrupts something in your mind. No human being should live a life without regrets.

Maybe I’m not human. I look down at my hands, they are are still hands. You continue to speak, I turn in the chair and face the hallway. Slow tears start to flood my eyes, but I fight back. I don’t want to cry, it doesn’t solve anything. You are you and I am me.

You’re sitting on the bed across from me, being you, and I on the black computer chair, being me.

I get up slowly and walk to your bathroom just outside the door. I keep my arms to my sides, I don’t wipe away the few tears that I couldn’t strangle back until I’m standing on bathroom tile, alone. I can feel the cold through my socks. I push the door closed behind me, then I turn the knob at the center of the handle and it locks like a whisper. The bathroom is a brief sanctuary that I don’t exactly know what to do with. I do know I’d prefer to keep my tears to myself. What tears? They’re gone now, just dry eyes and smiles in the mirror. See? I breathe. Smile. I flush the toilet so it seems like I’ve done something and use the short roar of the flush to hide the sound of me blowing my nose with toilet paper. You’re right there sitting, just being there. I imagine it in preparation. I toss the thin bunched up sheets into the toilet and watch them spin, spin then disappear. I wash my hands.

I come back into your room smiling. I know it’d be better to just come back straight-faced, even, regular, but it’s like I’m trying to use my face to trick my head into feeling something it’s not. You have the decency to not ask, “what’s wrong” although I can see the question on your face. I settle back into your chair and kick off the ground so I slowly spin on the swivel.

“Come here,” you say. And for a moment the idea disgusts me. Then, the idea of being disgusted by you, when only a couple of familiar moments ago the space between us was negative, makes my throat hot again. I feel my sinuses flare. I smile. I miss the bathroom. I stand and walk back to your low standing bed and I fall back into it beside you.

My body starts to sink into the mattress, I feel like I’m floating. For a moment I think I’m headed somewhere far away, a place where our reality doesn’t exist. Your body heat interrupts my fantasy. The warmth escaping from you rubs against my arm, it’s tugging at me, saying words we both want to scream.

“Why did you come?” Your eyes don’t meet mine but I feel them searching. I want to throw something, anything. Why do you always skip to the obvious to avoid the inevitable.

“You said you wanted to talk, so here I am.” So talk God-damnit, talk. My skin is growing tight, goosebumps are crawling on every inch of my body. I’m angry. Your right arm is doing something, in one swift motion you’re pulling me in. “What are you doing?” There’s no answer. I stiffen.

“Why is this the version of you I get, huh?” Now your voice is softer, loving. It wants to love me straight.

“God-damnit, what do you want from,” I push your hand away, “me?”

“Oro, I don’t want anything.” Your voice is soft, but this time it’s stern. “I told you, I don’t want to put any pressure on you. I understand how hard this is for you.” I breathe in. “I want you to live, whether or not that is without me is up to you.”

Something compels me and I feel my legs jerk my body up. I see the computer chair; it reminds me of the bathroom. Should I return there? I can leave though; you’re not kidnapping me, I can leave. Right now I’m just standing there. You’re still sitting on the bed. Nothing about your composure has changed. I’m not sure who has the upper-hand here.

“Sit, let’s talk.” I start to pace instead. The black rolling thing is only a couple of inches away from me; all I have to do is settle in it. I keep pacing.

“We’re not in the same place, Micca.” I hear your heart stop. You know where this is going. “You’re here and I’m there. We have yet to catch up.”

“I’m right where you are.”

“No, you’re not. This is the point in your life where you should be married, have a family, and all the other bullshit that adults do. You shouldn’t be sitting around night after night, stagnant, waiting for me to catch up. I’m not ready.”

“I’m not asking you to.” I’ve said too much already.  You don’t understand. You never will. Time can’t be commanded. Society is not a lego city. We are powerless. “I just want you to keep me in mind.” You’re always on my mind, but we aren’t right. We just aren’t right. I didn’t feel myself walk, but I’m back in the black computer chair, staring, trying to see my way out of this life.

I’m thinking about all the things I’ve done and know that would crush you. I don’t want to break you. Still, the idea thrills me in a way that I’m ashamed of. The way you feel, what you feel, and the way I know I won’t hurts then it just becomes the way.

“But you are,” I say,

“What am I asking?”

“You want me to be in a place I’m not at. You want me to pretend something into existence.” I can tell I’ve cut you. Usually it’s the only way. I’ve watched you, as I’ve hurt you before. I know what your pain looks like and I’m sorry every time we come to the part where I have to choose between me or you. I never choose you anymore. I feel the things you want me to, but just not for long enough.

“Okay,” you say, that’s you licking your wounds.

“What, I’m just not going to pretend for you.”

“Okay,” you repeat.

Pulling away
@hausofmontgomery (Instagram) “Remember the first love that we made You said that you couldn’t sleep ’cause of me Told me I caught you off guard And then when you saw I felt the same You pulled away started acting like being with me was too hard This is what it feels like” “Untitled” (2017)

A Poetry Reading at the Arts Garage

South Florida feminist Haitian-American poet Flose Boursiquot to hit the stage at the Arts Garage on Thursday, May 4th at 7PM. Flose will share pieces from her first published body of work, Close Your Eyes, Now Breathe. She was recently named one of BET’s 8 Millennial Feminist Poets That Deserve Recognition. Flose is politically engaged in Delray Beach and managed Commissioner Jim Chard’s winning City Commission race. She’ll be teaching a poetry workshop at the Arts Garage in the fall.

FloseFlyer_ArtsGarage

Ticket purchase: https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pesptpm/10169683/1071474

Learn more about Flose: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_eWdt4sWhI