This is my first taste of black coffee
On my sweet tongue. I don't mind swallowing.
Snow frames windows. Speckles of yellow aerosol
Bounce off the canvas. Clouds the air.
There is enough light and laughter to bake my skin.
Shedding. Telling on its/self to soon.
I read a bad poem.
NOTE to Editor: It doesn't belong in my book.
He smiles and nods anyway. Laughing.
Goodie goodie gumdrops.
Says the Westside marauder
Wearing my hat and me.
Covering my thoughts with his soft, defiant.
Defend Detroit Coif.
Nobody gets hurt.
His bottom lip is asking for trouble. I can
Taste his smile. I pretend to not examine
The stars in his eyes. We don't kiss like
He was there, he said.
I don't remember.
You were there. I saw you this summer.
He says he wasn't.
Somebody isn't lying.
Hold that thought.
Hold it where?
In my pocket between my legs
Inside this poem
Where you expect me put all these thoughts
When this has nothing to do with thinking?
I was thinking about an art installation project.
I was thinking about ways to make some money
I was thinking about album covers
And the wall of my son's room.
I was thinking about sharing stories,
Debating high art verses the underground.
seamless nights and poems
friendship music and international travel
In the middle of the day.
I was thinking about our get back to France
live art/performance/poetry project
Full, deep words never silenced
by round blue lips
This is Art for Art's Sake.
This is about the smell of paint in the room.
The white walls. The portraits of strangers.
Watching. Somebody's mother.
Turn me around.
So I don't see their faces. Baby.
I am not a street poet. I've studied the classics.
This is Westside story art collide jazz musical
With break beats, Ai poems and chocolate
I can hear him calling through the window
And I answer back, "yes Tony"
even if it's not our names.
Cause I feel pretty.
I am lotus petal attempting b-girl stance
But I can't move into
Position Everything is political.
"You do enough work."
It slides out your mouth
Like a mango pulled down from a Kingston tree.
Sweet and full.
You called me, sunshine in winter.
I know I wear my worries in the round of my breasts
The soft lines tracing my smile. My nervous legs.
What gives me away so easily with you?
You cheat by looking directly at me. Caught me off guard.
You want to know who you're with.
It was nice to meet you in that honest moment. It's what
I kept the most. That's what we do with fear. We keep it.
Push it down hard into some ink or banana paper notebook.
Surround it with poems. Eat Fear. Whole.
Wink. Brush it off. Smile. Play it off. Continue....
I want to tell you coffee and nicotine are drugs
So are poems and bubblegum and men who
Kiss you like they love you, even if they don't
Cherry licorice & lovemaking & buttered popcorn
hot cocoa. black tea and sugar with heavy cream
I can't get my childhood out my mouth.
With you. I'm simply acting.
But, isn't that what love
Is supposed to feel like?
— jessica Care moore
The poet jessica Care moore works as a publisher, playwright, actor, activist, stage sage and full-time Detroiter. She's one of the city's most powerful and empowering performers, and certainly one of the most beautiful. Lust-worthy, even. But this artist lusts after the power of carefully curated words, and their perfect delivery. She is a five-time Showtime at the Apollo winner and was a returning star of Russell Simmons' HBO series, Def Poetry Jam. Fresh off her artful collaboration with photographer Piper Martine Carter — NANOC: I Sing The Body Electric. Deconstructing the Literary Canon, which premiered at the Dell Pryor Gallery in Detroit and is headed to Atlanta for a group show at B Complex Gallery this March — moore is set to perform with poet Ras Baraka at Love and Revolution: A Celebration of the Culture and People We Adore, at the Charles H. Wright of African American History this Monday, Feb. 14 (Valentine's Day). The show is from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. and costs $10. The Charles H. Wright Museum is located at 315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit; 313-494-5800; charleshwrightmuseum.org.