Three Poems

Three Poems

by Angela Bronx Johnson

1989

Sprawled and limp on the                                            limp and
stained linoleum floor                                                  stained
she sits beside the door                                                 she sits

shattered                                                                      Shattered.

halfway between motherhood                                      between motherhood
and dolls, she should                                                   and dolls. Should she
hope and dream                                                          Hope. Dream. 

but she wants Momma back                                        But she wants
not the shell, nestled on her lap                                   her.
ashed-over lips and black-rimmed eyes                        And
she wanted her back                                                    wanted her    

without welted-belt-buckled arms                               without buckled
without opaque eyes and pin-pricked marks                eyes and marks.
she gathers their bodies together                                  she
on toned legs she starts                                                starts     
to push up                                                                            to push.        
from years of lifting her                                                                      lifting.
             in between momma’s coming and going         come.
on nights like these                                                      on.
she pleads with Momma                                              momma.
come back, but she is met                                            come.
with opaque eyes on silence                                         on.

 

Day 1

Morning came,
peaked over buildings,
parted my,
curtains-open
to breeze
to you
smiles, cushions

underneath sheets
hands tangled
backs-butts-breasts-bare

beneath it all
tangled legs
long and lean, 
lingers with lust

before long  
we peak out
over the edge
beyond the ledge

the landscape
an entwined color mosaic
dark-denim-purple-patches

night has come

 

Home

(for Nikki Giovanni)

I remember … there was once a time …  I wanted to be you …. wanted to Afro-out my life … color my brown face … black … red … green … I thought it would make you happy … this rebel child … who taught … apartheid … Rap Brown … who stopped processing her hair … because I knew it had … institutionalized my mind … my appearance … changed my spirit … to the always-wanting-to-be … instead of the … I am … thought it would show dedication … prove to you … to myself … that I was … a writer … and a feminist … an educator … a revolutionary … not only on the weekends …  and I remembered … that being me … meant that I was you … coming from Knoxville and The Bronx … both 28 and 68 … knowing too much … having digested too little … brown locks with speckles of … gray … and journeys …and hope … I began to remember …  to understand … to write … and write … not of only burning … pink … ribbons ... frills … and the flag … but how to imprint myself … on someone … some child … as you have … left a tattoo … of love … of knowing…. and I realized that … without this thing … of stage … of voice … of tradition … I had no voice …  could be silenced … could be cast … only black … only female … only able to ribbon my poems with kisses …  instead I know… and dream … and have awakened dreams … they speak through me ... from voices of women before … women to come ... I make my contribution … I take up my pen …


Global City Review once said that, Angela incorporates her love of spoken word into her poems so that they seem to run off the tongue and right into the heart. If you have every heard her read you know that her heart forms every poem. If you have read a poem by this witty poet from the Bronx you know that love alters all that she writes. And if you haven’t … then you are in for a treat. It is in her passion for words and the backdrop of New York City where her poems take shape and in the heart where they become real.