I'm just happy to be here.


Bubbles play ballet in the parking lot

A little girl travels by her own breath

Down the street, the swing set is busy

Throwing laughter like a pendulum

The sun is everyone’s friend

The parking lot at H-E-B is full

No one is left at home today

Everyone is falling in love

Flowers at Home Depot

My mother watches me reverse

From the boy on her wall

And out onto the road

The tree in front of our house

is the biggest it has ever been

I trust my little brother

I’m getting better at hugs

Not quite a perfectionist

A student of mine once told me

She likes I’m not a perfectionist because


Is just a hologram of ego


Look at all my substance!

Seriously, the weight of my heart is substantial

Watch, I can win arguments without raising my voice.

Watch, I can go a whole day listening

I’ve made up my mind

Life is a good idea.


After Nikki Giovanni’s Lecture at the 2015 Austin International Poetry Festival

If you’re black or brown
in America and the police kill you,
a narrative is already written.
Character premonition.
The word accident
is no accident.
Pay attention to diction.
Headlines are stupid.
Everyone knows what happens.
If it bleeds, it leads.
Everyone knows who’s bleeding.
What are you doing to do?
Indifference is a bad decision.

You are going to die.
But under what circumstances?

Maybe the bones inside
every black and brown body
are all made of sugar
and the wrong people
have a sweet tooth
the wrong people
want cotton candy
bur the sugar does not belong to them
the wrong people
keep eating cotton candy
in the rain because it is so easy
to waste a body made of sugar
when all it is ever does
is rain.


I do not surrender!

These eggs need salt!

The smile is still my natural habitat.

Chicken soup says I love you.

I haven’t set an alarm for my heart.

Sleeping in late is actually a form of medicine.

All your ex-girlfriends agree:

you did nothing wrong.

This just in!

One day, your name will be someone’s favorite song.