I typed the letter on a regular morning. But obviously, it was a courageous morning. I typed the letter in the dark because I had just woken up from a restless night. And restless nights have been typical for me. I live
Quickly and carefully, I crossed the street with my best friend at the time. Her name was Jalia, a tall and skinny girl I’d skip class with to play Nintendo between the tiled bathroom walls. Jalia was an older sister I never
My mother’s eyes are bulging, glassy and wild, almost spinning in their sockets with fear. Her cracked lips are pulled back from her teeth, which snap viciously. She is warning an invisible opponent of her bite. Her face is waxy and becomes
I watched from my seat in the sparsely populated bleachers as the swimmers began to assemble for the first race. Underlying the smell of chlorine was a sense of restrained excitement and perhaps a bit of nervousness among competitors and audience alike.
I don’t remember how old I was when my parents bought the brown metallic closet with the mirror on the front, but its presence in our home goes back as far as my memory of self does. I don’t think I paid
I climbed the stairs to Aunt Tee’s apartment. The hallway was dark but the semi-opened blinds let in a hint of sunlight on the second-floor landing. The burgundy carpet was clean, other than a tennis ball-sized stain in front of the door
“I love your hair. You did it yourself?” “Aww, thank you. I wish. I can’t cornrow.” “Wait, you’re a little Black girl and you don’t know how to cornrow?” Correction: I’m a whole 30-something Black woman who doesn’t know how to cornrow.
I remember the time you left your phone at home in our first apartment. It was an old loft close to campus. It was raggedy, the stove was too small, and mildew stained the grout in the bathroom. It was our first
Virginia Woolf once said: Writing is like sex. First you do it for love, then you do it for your friends, and then you do it for money. // In fifth grade, I had a crush on Kevin O’Halloran. He was
At the produce markets that populated Church Avenue, if someone cut in line or pushed her while trying to squeeze past, my mother would hurl the harshest obscenity that came to mind, “Fuck!” It was in fact one of her favorites because
By age 6, I knew what nostalgia meant, and it already felt like a dirty word. Nostalgia was a lecture about old Africa, how things were better back then and there, yet again. Nostalgia was guilt and irritation, especially to a child
“African-American girls always score higher than their white peers when it comes to self-esteem,” one of my High School teachers lectured. I struggle to remember why broaching this subject was germane to our class discussion, since this statement was made by my
Let me start by giving my parents the grace they deserve. My mother was only sixteen when she had me, and the only thing I know about my parents’ relationship is that they loved each other, and I was wanted. They always
It’s morning again. The cold outside beats against everything it encounters and my old bedroom windows tremble, struggling to keep the warmth inside. It is often the cold that stirs me awake and I tend to rise before the sun, listening to
I changed jobs earlier in the year. It was the type of job that had me jump from plane to plane and airport to airport as a consultant. Seems as I was no longer playing travel hopscotch, I had plenty of unclaimed
It was Christmas Eve, I guess technically Christmas because it was past midnight. We are, in fact, die-hard, committed Catholics, and on the Southside of Chicago on Christmas Eve, you are always found in your home parish, and my mother and I