Elizabeth K Gordon (aka elizag) is a writer who was born in Queens, NY and grew up upstate and then in Broward County Florida. Her non-fiction narrative Triplet Boys, their Teen Parents and Two White Women who Tagged Along (CDD Books 2007) won an Indie Book Award. She lives in a mill house apartment in Cohoes and works as an adjunct writing teacher at Northampton Community College (on-line) and RPI (incarnate). She recently discovered and fell in love with and was knocked-up by slam poetry, of the nitty gritty variety. Go Blue!
The Nitty Gritty Slam Team is heading to Chicago next month to represent the Capital Region at the 2018 National Poetry Slam.
Take me wit you you cried,
Tears making tracks on your cheeks.
You were five.
The whole reason I was in your life
was so your mom and dad
could keep their triplets
from the circling vultures of the state
but Oh Amear I am your mother
as much as she is
and we all knew it
Hence the early exit
from the house we shared
hence the gifts that never made it through
the excuses when you asked to visit,
hence the way half my heart’s in you
and half your heart’s in me
and time don’t make no distance
You know I love your brothers.
Jamarr Lamont, well he’s amazing
Mr honor roll, mom’s right-hand man
teaching grown-ups to skip that time
at the New Jersey seaquarium….
And Ahmad Dante, little Mahddy /
didn’t I hold him to my body
at four pounds and dropping ounces
hanging by a thread so thin
couldn’t show a Ramadan dawn
But you and me we bonded fast
made superglu look glacial
you fell from favor and I caught you
no more premeditation in it
than gravity catching a apple
I don’t know all the reasons
your mom pushed you away.
To me your darker tone
is beautiful as country nights
that give out all their stars
and call the city’s graysky greedy.
Your eyes dance light
like baby grands topped with candelabras
or polished marble under chandeliers
Had to get love vicariously,
gave it generously.
I saw you passing fischer price and sippies
‘tween the cribs
saw you slipping Mahddy Ritz
saw your first steps
When you stood there filleting my heart
with your take me wit you
I remembered those steps
how I caught you and raised you,
how I called out, “You did it!”
Tragedy’s when every drop of blood in us
flows toward a destiny we can never have
and we know it
You can do it, Amear.
If I left an empty place in you
don’t be a fool, don’t fill it with the things
that never can fill
Be careful Amear.
I know it don’t take but half an hour
to find a badlands handgun
half a minute to stop a bullet.
Don’t stop my heart Mear mear.
Don’t take it underground.
You know I love your brothers more than life
I’d give a kidney to either and if both needed one believe me
I’d drop to me knees and find out what to do
But me and you
we each have half the other’s heart
each beat in this chest here
it’s either you
or not you
Loving a child’s a longterm investment.
I expect my wisdom dividends
soon. So tell me, Amear Dominique,
Mr stickball curbball slamdunk king
Mr future doctor man
Mr (man I can’t believe it) thirteen
Mr girls already trying to call your mom
mom (oh she told me)
how do I live in this chasm
between the beats of my heart
in this question
that never leaves
that never drains
should I have
could I have