tenderness

soft slow kisses
our hands interwined, holding onto the moment our cells meet
skin caressing skin

when those compassionate eyes lock in with mine the tides rise, the sun sets, the city stands still

adventure with you takes form in multitudes
a trek through the wilderness, a trip across the country, an afternoon letting honest lips betray secrets

no mystery in our love, it overflows like the big brass horns on an Ella Fitzgerald tune

arrives warm and sweet like bubble baths and dinner paired with merlot over candlelight at home

in the end it all comes down to this, you’ve enraptured me in with your boundless tenderness

reset

scraped knuckles, teeth clenched,
notes crinkled, piled up in the waste bin.
half-finished thoughts and ill-conceived poetry
lines circled then crossed out in runny ink,
a once gifted orator with mouth now devoid of the right words.
so easy to emanate kindness, yet so hard to reserve a little for yourself.
every day a battle, finding healthy outlets for anger and pain, healthy ways to feel good,
even if it’s only fleeting.
After all, if there’s one thing you’ll learn (again and again), it’s that nothing is permanent
except chasing light through the endless darkness,
shouting out after love and happiness.

Biden, Buttigieg and the Death of Identity Politics

Before we begin and for the sake of transparency on my biases, allow me to provide you a brief review of my background: I have studied political science and am currently wrapping up an undergrad degree in criminal justice. I am a black, bisexual, cisgender male who has been happily married to my white, cis male partner of six years since 2017. My partner and I are both liberal millennials (in case that wasn’t already obvious); however, I would like to make it clear that I do not personally identify as a democrat. Being a liberal though, I do plan to vote for a democrat in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. I’ve chosen to do so as I feel the policies set forth by the Dems have been slightly less disenfranchising than that of the GOP (and let’s face it, we all know that U.S. elections are a two-party system).

Now that my background has been established, let’s dive into the grit of this opinion piece. – Billionaires like Bloomberg will not be getting my vote. I’ve also already ruled out casting my ballot for Senators Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Bernie Sanders in the primaries. In terms of Harris and Booker, while I would love to see another black candidate for president during my lifetime, I firmly believe that the era of identity politics is dead and find myself unmoved by either of their platforms.

Concerning Sanders, unfortunately his recent heart attack has eliminated him as a serious contender. Frankly, myself and many others in the young voting public want to feel confident that our next President can endure the astronomical levels of stress and demand that is sure to accompany the highest office in the land. Regarding Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, Marianne Williamson and the eleven others currently running, it is ever-so apparent that they simply do not have the funds nor the name recognition to actually win the democratic nomination. That just leaves Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, and Pete Buttigieg as the only viable democratic candidates.

On paper, Biden seems like the clear and obvious choice. He has been the front-runner for the Dems pretty much since the day he announced his candidacy (with the exception of slight leads by Buttigieg and Warren), and not without good reason. Biden is tenured, charming, and personable with the added bonus of having a very famous black friend in former President Obama (lest we forget). In short, he is everything white baby boomers have been dreaming of. Unfortunately, through numerous gaffes, Biden has also revealed himself to be slightly offensive and painfully out of touch with party progressives.

Buttigieg possesses the polish Biden lacks, but none of the charisma. Further still, I can find no compelling reason to back Buttigieg other than the fact that he’s a veteran and a fellow member of the LGBT+ community, and as I stated before the era of identity politics is dead. When comparing Buttigieg and Warren’s platforms, it is evident that Warren has a more robust plan to address healthcare, immigration, unequal taxation, and LGBTQ issues (including the public manufacture of PreP). For me the choice is simple. In my opinion it would behoove either Sanders or Buttegieg to consider joining Warren’s ticket rather than moving forward as her adversary, but time will tell.

Regardless of whom the democratic nominee winds up being, it is my estimation that the impeachment inquiry and ensuing trial (if there is one) will only bolster Trump’s popularity and secure him another term. That’s not to say that the inquiry was unnecessary, it is just evident that the media spectacle surrounding the President (from the hot mic ET moment to the affair with Stormy Daniels) has merely galvanized his base.

Love Letter

no longer waiting patiently for access,
all dressed up and gunning for it.
no longer craving attention,
all grown up and swimming in it.

years of bruised elbows and broken hearts to transcend to these heights,
bask in the glory of all this self-confidence.

dark skin and deep brown eyes, born in the fire,
quick wit, cold style, let it envelop the world.

kiss him in the streets of San Francisco, in alleways in New Orleans, on the beaches of Florida,
and hold back nothing.

two lessons, trite but true – not a thing can hurt you without your permission, and this life is what you make of it.

10/19

October is the salt on your lips, still stinging from our last kiss

Brighter than the final flash of light before sunset.

Open arms – in retrospect
say little, demand respect.

Cast as Caesar, then as Antony
righteous/wicked, passionate/weary.

Adventure and enduring love
all rolled into one.

October is the honey on your fingertips – lingering for a moment before you lick them clean.

It’s the death of innocence, of coveting the pristine.