I Live For…

I live for,

That rare moment when you instantly connect with someone through

The grip of genuineness that strips you both of preconceptions

Stripping each other of stereotypical connotations

miscellaneous misconceptions

eroding in a silent inflation of candid injections

making way for deeper exchanges

I live for,

Travels through unknown corners and corridors

Through spice markets, on boardwalks and along an historical African coast

Footprints on fire baked Spanish terracotta tiles

Handprints over Turkish mosaics and Persian rug piles

Stamping local mountainous peaks with…”hmmmm…I was here” breath prints

I live for,

sporadic bursts of tummy aching

tear spilling

breath taking

temple stretching laughter

engraving folds of humor

along the ridges of your eyes, lips and the bend of your heart

in bold, italic, size 24 Book Antiqua font

Witnessing a kind gesture over a “kind of gesture”

As she stopped for the man with the cane

Along a deserted road that led to his pain

Extracted in the tremble of his latitude

And caught in the 200 decibels of his gratitude

I live for,

Poetic words that melt tension

In 2000 degrees fahrenheit of passion

And blaze an unending path

Seeking and find synonyms of compassion

I live for,

The simple day a woman can walk down a dark and dingy alley

And not turn back in glances fraught with unease


From the “hey baby” shouts and hollers from across the street

Experience utmost discomfort and unease

Undressed in the male gaze

So chooses to take the backseat

I live for,

Love that shakes you to your core

Taking down all you have presumed to the floor

Until you are not the illusionary self no more

Then builds you by the shore

Then sews you were it tore

Then heals you where it’s sore

Because a love like that

Flickers of a spoken truth

That seeks a fragment of you

And in shambles begins to soothe.


Billene also writes with other feminists at www.africanfeminism.com