Dear Portia: Annoyed, Irritated and Bored at Church

Dear Portia, I am annoyed and irritated and bored at church. My husband loves it, but to me, our church feels like a big show: entertainment, choir performance, giveaways, and a superficial sermon. How do I look past the trappings and experience a deeper relationship with God? If other people love church so much am […]

Pavlov’s Dogs, My Senator, and Knowing God

In Mark 10, a blind man named Bartimaeus sits by the side of the road literally screaming for Jesus’ help. When Jesus finally addresses him, he asks, “What do you want me to do for you?” I love that question. Jesus wants to know what Bartimaeus wants, presumably to give him exactly what he wants. […]

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 […]

A Conversation I Never Expected to Have

This poem was performed at Deeply Rooted: A Gathering in May 2016. I was made with more than flesh in mind; A mind! Imagine that. A mind that reasons & wonders why All you see are body parts; Mountains & valleys that you can walk over & conquer. Not afraid of rough terrain or how […]

Our Sexuality in Reality

Since the age of 23, I’ve been on staff at churches within a few different streams of Christianity and at a Christian university. I noticed that those at the conservative leaning Christian university where I worked were obsessed with sex. They talked about sex all the time—mostly in the sense of needing to avoid premarital […]

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 […]