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20 Minutes to Go and Love Poems - Miquéla Thornton

20 Minutes to Go and Love Poems - Miquéla Thornton

20 Minutes to Go

Miquéla Thornton


I watched as my mother dipped the comb into the fire

The bronze color engulfed in the cerulean blue flames

Curls calmed, coils straight she desired

Hot comb to roots tediously until each tendril tamed


My hair must be neat


I sat on phone books atop the tallest chair

In her hands, the combs and brushes went wild

Evanescing each entwine, perm to my hair

For straight is synonymous with neat, tidy and styled


My hair must be neat


I confess that maybe it burned

Behind my ears maybe it scarred

Despite that, I quickly learned

That straight wasn’t so hard


My hair must be neat


I didn’t have to break my brushes to detangle

I didn’t have to lay gel down my hair pulled back

I didn’t have to use curls to manipulate and mangle

I didn’t have to deal with another part of being Black


My hair must be neat


20 minutes to go
Hair resembles a mop plunged into water

Arranged in a messy, lopsided afro

Not the hair of my mother’s daughter


My hair must be neat


10 minutes to go

I broke yet another brush

I took off 10 bristles in a row

Handle snapped clean off in a rush


My hair must be neat


5 minutes to go

Just to put it in a “ponytail”

Can’t go out looking “ghetto”

Because then my mother failed


My hair must be neat


3 minutes to go

Comb, pull, yank, curls go from thick to thin

I’m confident, even pretty, from the roots it flows

Mom says, “It looks as if cats sucked on the ends”


My hair must be neat


2 minutes to go

It looks like cats clawed through the mats

So I swallow my pride and tie it back with a bow

Fabric so pretty next to the ugly tangles and naps


My hair must be neat


1 minute to go

I quickly snatch a hat and my backpack

I hear the horn, the bus is close

Yet no hat is big enough for hair that’s Black


Constellations

Miquéla Thornton

 

You’ve got stars in your eyes

Shining jewels in your irises

I fail to divine why

Yet you allure me in

 

Constellations lining the creases

Lashes luminescent, linear like Orion’s Belt

I stare and assemble the pieces

And wipe the solitary tears that spilled


Zodiacs in your eyes, spiraling in pattern

So perfect, as if Galileo mapped them himself

Circling the pupils like the rings of Saturn

Outshining bruises around them, scratches, welts

 

Iris, a burnette umber: quartz

Sclera, a white ivory: pearls

Pupil, an inky ebony: onyx

Gorgeous eyes with lashes curled

Those eyes keep deep secrets

Stories they’ve yet to tell me

I can’t help that I stare at them frequent

Enchanting, mesmerizing, entrancingly

 

You’ve got stars in your eyes

Nothing seems to dull them

Nothing can ever undermine

The constellations conjured of gems


I Can’t Read Notes (Take 4) Miquéla Thornton


I lay on the carpet floor

Belly down, feet swinging in the air

I get up, go to sit next to you, I adore

Two people, four legs  close in the chair


Ti adoro


You play a song by a composer, Italian

Maybe French, I wasn’t taking in each word

Too focused on the way your lips moved… maybe German

As your words reached my ears, I think Italian I heard


Ti adoro


Foot tapping, keeping a steady beat

As the pendulum swings

Fingers keeping a steady rhythm meet

Keys as I watch your hands sing


Ti adoro


Fingers making love to the ivories

The notes climax at the crescendo

Like secrets written in pages of a diary

The notes speak a language I don’t know


Voglio te


The language of the melodies

Beautiful notes stain your fingertips

Seconds after you pause, the note still rings

Just as a kiss lingers on lips


Voglio te




My lipstick, a vivid, bright red

My signature upon your cheek

I wonder what those notes said

That made my knees go weak


Voglio te


Your fingers work back and forth

Tempo jolting from fast to slow absent warning

Your musical compass at a constant north

Owning the song you’re performing


Mi piaci


My heart can’t seem to remain still

As I watch your fingers dance

Lips parted, breath steady until

I find myself falling into our romance


Mi piaci


Heartbeat speeds up to match the tempo

Banging against my fragile ribcage to the beat

Begging to break out to enjoy the show

I silence her, as it is not her time to speak


Mi piaci


You halt suddenly and turn to the one you adore

Your eyes search mine like a map to a treasure

A straight path from my heart to yours

Faces just inches apart, measured


Ti amo


My heart glitches as the rapid beat tries to slow

Breath hitches as your song ends on cue

Hand switches as the shaking fails to go

Sentences without finishes, as I whisper,  I love you

Journey Miquéla Thornton


I wish I could take a journey through your mind

I wish I could explore your dreams as mine

I wish I could drink your thoughts like wine

I wish I could fall and escape time

Looking at you

Thinking of you

Knowing you

Adoring you

I wish I could make dollars of your dimes

I wish I could make happiness from your cries

I wish I could make all of your bad thoughts kind

I wish I could make our stars align

I wish I could make all of your fears resign

I wish there was a cure I could find

I wish I could take a journey through your mind


Photo by Julian Hochgesang on Unsplash