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thursday

today i noticed:
the way my calves felt strong under my jeans
after a three mile run.
the squirrel that barked at me from a nearby tree
as i walked by with an apple.
the disagreement of the warm sun on my face,
and the cold breeze that chilled my nose.
my body telling me that i had missed lunch
when i stood up and my daydreams were dizzy.

i appreciated:
the crunch of a fresh michigan apple
and that i live in a state with seasons that grow such sweet fruit.
the little bug that hitchhiked in my jacket
all the way to my 8 am class.
the stars that were still awake as i went for my morning run
before the clock had even struck 6.
the nutty notes in my morning coffee
whose blackness was tamed with just a touch of milk
that danced in my mug unlike any ballet choreography that could ever exist.

today i measured:
my appearance in confidence and passion,
not in pounds or pant sizes.

and each step became a poem,
and my commute a song,
and my work a refrain,
with successes and failures
both singing the symphony
of a thursday in october.

transcript of the speech i gave at Vassar’s black baccalaureate service

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, honored guests, and the Vassar class of 2017.
Just saying that aloud made me feel old. Class of 2017? Most of y'all were born after dark-skinned Aunt Viv left the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. That’s wild.

I want to first thank you for allowing me to be a part of such a special moment in your lives. I am honored, privileged, and a bit in disbelief that you asked me of all people to give this address. I try not to have feelings, and I’m going to do my best not to cry today, but no promises.

I’m here to stand in the gap between you and your parents and guardians and any other elders in your lives that you stopped listening to because you thought they were wack and out of touch. I remember being in your shoes not TOO long ago, and it is my fervent prayer that something that I say here today will help you avoid some of the mess I went through.
To be honest I’m a little nervous, but I figured there was no way could this be worse than when Betsy DeVos went down to Bethune-Cookman, so let’s get started.

As you transition to life after Vassar the changes will be both inevitable and swift, so I’d like to begin by giving you some well-intentioned advice and warning you about the continued process of becoming an adult.

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