December issue is now available!

BB Issue 6.jpg

"Here"

54 pages

$5.95 digital

$18 print

Volume 2, Issue 3 features art and words by: Maroula Blades, Sherese Francis, Alexsis Johnson, Chantay Leonard, Taylor Lewis, Sarah Lomax, Maya Marshall, Denise Miller, N.K. Navarro, Hannah Onoguwe, Sarah Osman, Rae Paris, Terrica Payton, Bonita Lee Pen, K. Imani Tennyson, Sarah Webb, Seretha Williams, and Naima Woods.

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Flash Friday

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Never Found

by Sarah Lomax

 

 

He went missing from me tonight.

Never mind that we’re here, bare bodies with black thighs rocking over white hips and bare palms pressing, pressing, pressing down on a bare chest while we bear ourselves in the moment. Never mind that I was clenching, that I let him in me even though my thoughts smother me more than his hands.

Never mind that I let him see me. I had to search for him while I rock my pudgy hips, digging up meaning from his gaze. I ached to speak, but simply breathing makes my throat itch with a thousand nails on the inside. He wasn’t there.

Why? I rock harder still for answers stitched up in silence, press kisses to his lips with my toes pushing hard into the mattress. Every creak makes the air stretch around us until some sort of satisfaction is drawn from a conclusion that I just wasn’t good enough.

Maybe I’d just never be good enough. Maybe that’s why our bodies stretch and depolarize upon intimate shutdown. I sigh, to act satisfied, and he laughs like always, skin skimming over skin while his legs arch over the edge of the bed.

“Hey…”

“Hm?”

He was letting his pants slither up his waistline while we spoke, freckled back facing me. My stomach clenches and my fingers flex, but I went on to ignore intuition.

I’m just crazy.

“I love you.”

“Yeah, sure, sure.”

There’s a wag of his finger and a shake of his head like a classic sitcom but the hesitation was real.

“Hey!”

“Kidding, kidding. I love you too.”

We share one last kiss, though it’s quick and his arms never leave his sides until he has to reach for his shirt and head out the door.

Too bad he was never found.

 

 

Sarah is a freelance writer and psychology major at Oberlin looking to specialize in clinical psychotherapy. She enjoys swimming, archery, tarot reading, anime/cartoons, writing, reading, and role playing. You can read more of her writing blog, http://www.emptyfingertips.tumblr.com .

Spoken Word Wednesday featuring Alyestal Hamilton

 

"God Given Name"

Alyestal Hamilton

 

 

Alyestal Hamilton is an emerging poet from Brampton, Canada. Her most recent publication can be found in the “Time” issue of BLACKBERRY: a magazine. Through her poetry she hopes that she will be able to express not only the deepest thoughts of her heart, but touch the hearts of others.

  

"God Given Name"

 

My hair may be my crown of glory but my name is my inheritance

The wealth of my inheritance is carried in the crevices of the curves of the typography of

those who construct the makings of me

Like a shadow, inheritance follows my name around as it gets passed down from one

generation skipping the next delivered to me

 

What will I do with my inheritance?

I don’t really know

 

But I do know that I am tired

I am tired of other people asking me to iron out my name for them

Ironing out the three creases that come together and identify me

When all my name really identifies is that it is too large to be contained by a small mind

And too cumbersome for a lazy tongue to maneuver over

 

Although no suggestion box existed suggestions continued to roll in

With requests that my name be shortened if I would like to fit in

So for the sake of conversation I succumbed to that temptation

 

But today I say no more

No longer will I be accepting alternatives to my name

For I am not a thesaurus and have no synonyms

 

I do not know who you are addressing

Suppressing my blessing by guessing at the sounds and reaching for alternatives

All because you claim that my name is just too hard

Well I think you are just too lazy

And you don’t really want to know me

Because then you would be required to know how to say my name properly

 

No longer will I be like Theo

Dressed in the wrong brands

Wearing shirts sewn by untrained hands

Methodically stitching strange patterns together

All the while one sleeve was longer than the other

 

And while they were struggling to say my name wrong

There were other names that I would be called

Like Oreo, and teacher’s pet, and whitewashed

But here’s the most innovative name of all

They began to call me Carlton.

Carlton.

Not Ashley

Not Will

And I have like totally heard like Hilary before

But hearing Carlton was pretty unusual

But I didn’t want to rock the boat

In fear that they may call me Aaliyah

So I said nothing

And became a participant in a mutilated reality

That perceived me as being nothing more than a white person with a deep tan

 

Too black to be white and too white to be black

These names were not formed on the basis of my personality

Yet the were placed as the basis of my identity

Placed as expectations of my behaviour to conformity

All the while stifling who I was truly meant to be

 

So when you say my name please state it correctly

For it connects me to my family lineage and ancestry

Connecting me to people I’ve never known before

Except through old photos and papa’s monologues

 

All I want is that you say my name right

It has a long sounding ‘e’ that comes after a silent ‘y’

Its only three syllables short and only eight letters long

And it’s the name that I’ve been called since the day that I was born

So I’m not Oreo, or teacher’s pet, or chick with the afro mane

Please call me Alyestal

My God given name