Relationships

The Books that Help Us Story Well

“You see these spots?” my dad would ask, pointing at my nose. “They aren’t freckles. They’re print that’s rubbed off from having your nose stuck in a book.” He wasn’t far from the truth. I read voraciously as a child. I took a book along with me everywhere—just in case. Just in case I got […]

Restoration After Exile

“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says to all the captives he has exiled to Babylon from Jerusalem: “Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce. Marry and have children. Then find spouses for them so that you may have many grandchildren. Multiply! […]

Dear Portia: How Do You Stay Sane with a Mentally Ill Person?

Dear Portia, How do you deal with toxic or mentally ill people who have harmful behaviors and stay sane? You have no choice but to deal with them—they’re your family or your boss. How do you get them to seek the help they need? Or, to understand they have an issue? JP Dear JP, I […]

Keep the Lights On

Keep the lights off. Cover yourself up. Sex is for the girls that look like they just walked off the cover of a magazine. Be grateful for anyone who wants to touch you. Accept what you are given. These are all the lies that are told to me by the media, by people in passing […]

Black Love: A Sacred Oneness

In this country the Black body has always been subject to the breaking and the taking—yet we’ve clutched tight to the promise to love. Against all odds we willed our oneness. Finding the other half of ourselves in moonlit fields, dimmed juke joints and strobe-lighted clubs. Safe places allowed us to wash away the touch […]

Can Opener

When I think about you trying to open me I think of a can of tomato soup It’s the only thing you can afford when you’re so broke You let strangers into your body. I think of my can opener, how I can never find it in the gore of underused utensils. I think of […]

Skepticism and Singleness

“God? If you’re real, please be real to me.” I had prayed this prayer before, but much more calmly, confident God would come through. But he hadn’t, and this time it was with much more anguish that I cried out to him, or maybe to nothing, in my head. I kicked off my bed sheets […]

This Is Why I’m Single

You, who likely do not know me, probably have a guess as to why I’m single. Maybe I’m afraid of commitment. Maybe I’ve never been in a serious relationship. Maybe I come from too troubled of a past. Maybe I’m “just not really trying.” Here’s why I’m single: because I just am. I’ve gone to […]

Sex as a Spiritual Practice?

I wish it wasn’t so easy to be sexually broken. For so many reasons we struggle to embrace our sexuality, don’t we? To give and receive fully. To engage our whole physical, emotional, and spiritual selves—and our partners do as well. On every level, sex gets messy. So there’s no better place to talk about […]