Wonder Woman

EyeAmBic performs “Wonder Woman” at Winthrop University.

For as long as I can remember
My mother has been the strongest
woman I've ever known
A queen whose face is made of stone
Jigsaw puzzles in her teeth piecing the truth together
Her eyes are bridges
that connect the past with the future
She's what I like to call a straight shooter
Will tell you exactly how she feels
doesn't care how you think about it
wears her heart on her collarbone like a diamond necklace
Holds pyramids in her palms
So you can feel the royalty in her embrace
When she hands you a fist full of compassion.

My mama has a monument for a heart
Hieroglyphics in her tongue
decipher the elegance in her speech
She is a small, strong and proud woman
A woman who will put on high heels
just to walk to the grocery store
Will put on full makeup
And get her face beat to the Gods
Just to go to the gas station
Because she believes that Queens
should never leave the house looking like peasants

And she’s a superstitious woman
who thinks that aspirin and vinegar can heal anything
Im talking about arthritis gout, scoliosis, the flu…
You name it she thinks these things can kill it
And that's why I love her so much
Because she makes ordinary things seem remarkable
Like how she can take 50 cent box of noodles
Add some milk, egg and cheddar
Make the most delicious pan of macaroni and cheese
You’ve ever tasted in your life
So good it made Jesus smack his own mama

Rumor has it that
That she once put BigFoot in a headlock
smacked Godzilla in the face and told him
his breath stank
Killed Moby Dick
Rolled him in flour threw him in a pan
and called it a fish fry

Y’all my mama is a gangsta!
I'm convinced she's thrown a couple bodies in the river
Cause when I was younger
she would perform drive by butt whoopings
on me with a switch, extension cord, hanger
Anything if I ever got out of line
And when she was done
she would let me cry
but reminded that “she ain't raise no punk”

Showed me that being a man had nothing to do
with the size of your genitalia
but everything to do with the enormity of your character

My mama has the confidence of Cleopatra
The grace of Harriet Tubman
and the style of Michelle Obama
She is a war machine
With missiles shooting from her tongue
That have stopped grown men in their tracks
and brought them down to her knees
Living proof that the most dangerous weapon
in America is the voice of a black woman
And it shows that black lives do in matter
because she had birthed them and raised them
And fought for them
More than she has fought for herself

Because my mama is also a survivor
and just this past year she fought
her biggest battles yet
with a giant named Breast cancer
and a titan called heart disease
And although one of those things took her breast
it could never be strong enough to steal her heart
Not vigilant enough to
cut off her air supply
Because she is air
A floating force too big to escape
yet too small to hold onto
A constant reminder that yes God sent a son to save us
But he created a woman to raise us

When the Virus Comes

When the virus comes,
Talking heads on television screens
will tell you to abandon ship. 
To drown yourself in a sea of isolation. 
Submerge homes in lysol wipes and hand sanitizer.
Engulf body in face mask and plastic glove
until it becomes second nature.

They will tell you to turn your kitchen into a panic room,
basement into fallout shelter.
Instruct you to grab everything you can,
while you still can.
They will say
the shelves at the stores are empty,
and not realize they are also talking about you.

They will preach from the gospel of quarantine.
Shout parables of
“Thou Shalt wash thine hands.”
“For God so loved the world
he socially distanced himself
from the very people he wanted to save.”
It will make you wonder how a hero
or a government
Can rescue someone they can’t even touch.

When the virus comes,
you will kiss your lover like it’s the last time,
because maybe it is.
You will dance on timelines
like decades are stuck on the balls of your feet.
Sing like a quartet is trapped in your throat.
Laugh like this is the last time you know what joy feels like,
because maybe it is.

And today that will be more than enough.

Love Game

EyeAmBic performs “Love Game” at Winthrop University.

“Real quick all the people in love? Anybody in love? All the people that’s like forget like, I ain’t never want love, I ain’t gonna have love? Ok. Anybody have a boo, cuddle buddy, bae, whatever ya’ll call em these days. Snuggle bunny. So, so kinda like the second part to that poem, so like growing up as a man, well as people in general, but especially as a man I felt like love was kinda like a game right?

So When I was a kid I had this great fascination with sports.
From soccer to football to tennis
I played any game that involved a ball and a competition I could win.
Favorite sport of all time was basketball.
I wanted to be like MJ and play in the NBA.
So everyday after school I would practice layups, jumpers and triple threat stance
Until the street lights came on.
Hoping that one day I would make it to the league.

If you haven’t figured it out by now,
That career ain’t quite work out for me.
Now I work here and write poems.
But I was always a fan of any game I put my heart
Mind, body and soul completely into.
Except when it came to the game of love.

See when it came to the game of love
I was more like a rookie.
A benchwarmer trying to fight my way
into the starting lineup.
I was never on the first string.
Never picked up on the first run,
So I had to sit on the sidelines and watch
Other players score when I was struggling to get a shot.

I had to find out very quickly
That some women will always put you on their roster,
But would rather choose men with less skills
And more swag.
More J’s than A’s.
More willing to run and shoot than to throw you an assist.
Obsessed with tight ends who only wanted
To touchdown between your legs.

Mark your private parts on their scoresheet
Rank you on their ESPN top lays of the week
And then when they traded you for a new pick,
You always came running back to us.

See relationships are alot like sports.
Everyone wants to play but no one shows up to practice.
Put in the hard work on the hardwood,
Grind for glory on the gridiron.
Fight on the ice.
Go the distance for 12 rounds ‘cause this is more than just a game
From the first kiss to the first fight
You will find yourself in nonstop action.

Your first date is a scrimmage,
Where both sides are feeling each other out
Trying to determine if you are worthy of playing time.
Your argument is a heavyweight fight
Full of low blows and sucker punches
Jabs and uppercuts designed to KO your opponent.
The first time you show your physical love
Will probably be after that first argument.

And if it ya’ll make sure it feels like the olympics.
Make her long jump from long strokes.
Turn his baton in a pole vault.
Turn a javelin into a discus until it shotputs
And then when you are done remember to never
Make them jump over hurdles for your affection.
Treat them like your star player.
The only option in your triple threat offense.
Cause if you don’t, there will always
be players on the sidelines waiting to get drafted.
Fans in the stands
Looking for you to drop the ball so they can pick up your fumbles

So if you want them
Then show how them that you want them
Put down your guards and power forward
By making them the center of your attention.
Treat them like your teammate and not your sparring partner.
‘Cause relationships don’t come with playbooks.
No sets and schemes to beat the opposing team.
You have to play as you go, work out
Put in the overtime hoping that you can win the game
But remember ya’ll this is more than just a game,
It’s an experience.

See in the game of tennis, when a player has yet to score a point
In a match it is called “love”.
Cause they know it's not about keeping score.
It's about starting with nothing and adding more on top
To build something beautiful.
And ya’ll love is beautiful.
Love is the only competition worth living and dying for
So we run suicides
Cause sometimes you have to kill the person you are
In order to birth the lover you’re meant to become.

So, no I am not in the NBA.
I will never get drafted to play in the major leagues.
But every time I look at the scoreboards in her eyes I
know there is no way in the world
I could possibly ever lose.

Good Man

EyeAmBic performs “Good Man” at Winthrop University.

So the other day i was talking to my sister
When all of a sudden she tells me
“You know a good man is hard to find”
That in this world full of scrubs and snakes
It's hard for a woman to find her prince.
A man worthy of her time.
She says that all the good men are either taken or gay
And half the the ones that are taken
Are still probably gay.

I just laugh and say “sis I’m sorry to tell you this
But there’s no such thing as a good man”
She looked at my kinda crazy like
“I helped raise your little black self,
You better be a good man”.
Look its a lie. An illusion.
Something someone else made up
To make you feel better about who we truly are.
Because honestly there’s nothing good about any of us.

See from the day we’re born
we’re trained to be hunters and gatherers.
Taught to treat you like prey, while setting traps with our teeth.
Turning our smiles into funhouse mirrors
That make you see something that truly isn’t there.
See we knew how to call you “hoes before we learned how to read.

Told you we’d rather see you wash the dishes than make the Dean’s list.
Forced you to play house when we could have
Been paying you some attention.
We were not born to be righteous.
The world never showed us how to worship the
God in you, So we prey on you instead of pray for you.
We betray you.
Speak in the language of Judas.
Hide serpents in our blood stream, castrate the Eve from our ribs
While this Adam’s apple chokes on our manhood.

The truth is that most men have a canine complex.
We call you a female dog, turn you doggy style,
Live in a dog house and we love chasing cats,
Cause its nothing but the dog in us.
See around here we love to make it rain.
Watch the precipitation drown your spirit
When we swim inside of you.
Tell you to bust it open while we bust down your self esteem.
Turned you from a queen to a video vixen.
From a universal constellation to a world star.
We have sliced the Coretta out of your conscience.
Screwed the Sojourner out of your truth.
Assassinated the Assata from your symphony,
Detonated your destiny with our weapons of mass destruction.

Cause ya’ll it is hard to be a good man
When you are raised to have such bad intentions.
When our fathers left before they signed the birth certificate.
When we saw men Rihanna and Tina Turner your face
Into a walking punchline.
When we were taught how to prey
Before we learned how to pray.

And I wish I could apologize for them,
But ladies I can’t because I am them.
We are all them.
But there’s a few of us who know
that while we may never be good men,
We’re damn sure gonna die trying.