Dear Leap Year,
There’s nothing like you. February gets to sit in its throne just a little bit longer and March holds the springtime close-fisted behind its back like a 25cent secret. Sleeping in, like its Sunday—twelve noon and you’re still under the covers—bedsheets that feel like they’ve been made from ten thousand grandmother hands. The sun gallops through the morning window like an army of warbred horses returning home after battle with victory and honor-filled soldiers on their backs. The women and children are dressed in their finest to go cherish what the Lord gave, but see, I never went to church as a kid. There’s no cross where I come from, just poems takin’ their course. Angels took me out back and slugged my face in last night…so its fists to the gunfight motherfuckers. I had to brass knuckle teach myself how to pray, and now my prayers are praying that they reach God’s ear before my past does because I’ve never been one of those people who believed in no regrets. I was raised by an honest father so I know I’m too worn for that. A man who set his soul in the pit of my stomach and spit-shined it to grow like a tempo. Stairway to Heaven type shit. Like a steady drumline beat beat bangin’. Like 1968 or Detroit up in flames, that fiery rebellion. Out of the ashes I rose, bare hand to hand, spine for spine we walked and he taught me a few things along the way. He said that time is ruthless. It is persistent, like love, because everyday in the wisest corner of the earth right where the ocean ends in the east, some mighty wave births the bloodviolet sunrise. And every night it sets like a lullaby with no regard to how we spent it in between.
I’m tired of the days blurring together. I feel like there’s something missing here and I’m scared and I’m angry I can’t touch it. Sometimes I get so scared my chest starts to feel inside out. Microphones for lungs. So sing the skyline with that siren voice of yours please. Chain me down as we sail. All hands on heart. Take the wind at your back and run past the meadow. Run fast like the truth is biting at your back and Nina Simone is singing at the finish line. Feeling Good, Misunderstood. We are Sinnermen with struggle colored breath, raised in atomic high schools that don’t teach Hip Hop. Classrooms filled to the brim with shot down dreams. Filled to the brim with smoke and teachers and the teachers forget to teach ya that leap years are the most brilliant gifts God could give. They come when every four, February 29th somersaults into each of our lives like the heavens version of Jimi. Reminding us that the days are imperatively precious. You really get an extra day to live this year and what could possibly be more beautiful than that.
See, any second now, this minute will end. You’ll be forced to look back on it like you do this past summer, that beach, those girls, that one night when it all faded to black. Trust me, right now will literally turn to dust if you don’t grab that shit by the throat. Hold it up. Stare into its eyes. Stretch it out and shake it like Anis did. Like you’re from Brooklyn or Cape Town and about it. Like the mangoes are in season. Aint none of yall leavin until you recognize you are here now. I said you are here now.
You can dance with dreams in your shoes. Souls for soles. Poems beating like a Mandela-blessed Conga at the heels of it all. Dear Leap Year, I know your face will be my epilogue.
From Yours Truly With Love,