Dear Shango

owner of fire and me,

god of breaking hearts,

red and white you bleed,

all the while steadily leaking me,

saying I’m your favorite,

while others you keep,

I’m Oya to you,

lighting you are,

I’m struck again by

your  lightning rod,

struck repeatedly,

until no more,

all I could express

is Dear Shango.








Coup d’etat

a coup d’etat,


dethroned, alone,

in this wilderness

of a nothingness



Smelling stale,

oh’  fresh betrayal,

you defeat me,

with my own love.

You usurped my tears,

acted out my fears,

and replaced us with

a vandalized love.


Oh deceitful offender,

each cell I surrendered,

while you whittled me down

flaw for flaw.

of it I tended

with hope my heart be mended

until this final coup d’etat.


Copyright@Nichelle Calhoun 2014



Seasons II

touch me like summer.

enjoy that I am light,

and warm,

and promise,

– lavender silk in a warm sea.

touch me like summer.

before it is fall and leaves change and so do we.


touch me like summer.

for it is all seasonal, isn’t it?



our cells.

touch me like summer.

for we are infinity right now


just as fast a stark winter tomorrow.


Copyright@Nichelle Calhoun 2014



I doted on you

flower I  thought divine,

convinced you were a

gift passed down through time,

doted on you in every line,

only to find out you were never mine.


Copyright@Nichelle Calhoun 2014


He Says

No flows,

No rose,

No dare-I-suppose,

I assuage your heart,

Til the tenderness goes.


No kiss,

No rock,

No dare-I-unlock,

The vulnerability inherent

In this novela plot.


No chance,

No plea,

No lovesick thief,

Would make me do more to cause you injury.


No more,  no more he said I’m putting forth my hand,

Clean up and recovery from the damage of the last man.

You are worthy,

especially in this emotional quicksand

to feel



Copyright@Nichelle Calhoun 2014


Tear soaked grains of sand

As countless as the days,

Wreaked and stank of dreams broken

The moment you sat down to play,

Your hands molded tear soaked sand

I let you have your way,

You built a castle you said was ours,

But then blew the sand away.

Did You?

Under baobab tree,

Did you come for me

Looking to love me into eternity

To venerate me like ancestors

All my words and curves

Love me like forever were equivalent words

Under the cover of a solid blue night

Did you bring me into the still- your human love light

Did you take me under the uncertainty of your wing

And pray my love be the anchor of everything

Or did you come for me

In dressed-up defeat

And hope I’d be a distraction so sweet

Reduced to curve without words to write

Invisible by day and ever present at night

Did you come for me to meet with fate

Or did you force its hand

Your appreciation for love

still in wait….


Did you…


Copyright@Nichelle Calhoun 2014


Today I Loved You More

Today I loved you more,

Rushing out the apartment,

The three of us being blown

with Miami November wind

Down 95.


Today I loved you more

Scuttling into a crowded auditorium

to hear Junot on complexity,



Today I loved you more

When Nikki Giovanni in her curly blonde, halo

breathed out the niceness of

being in love

and you gently covered my hand with yours.


Today I loved you more

As I turned my head

and you ran over  

to the book-filled table

and grabbed Chasing Utopia and had it

signed to us.

We are.


Today I loved you more

When you slid into Spanish with ease

like you stepped out of your work shoes

on to a cushy home carpet.

Mi Hondureno.


Today I loved you more

When you kicked the ball past me to score a goal-

walked me to the bay-

and stood silently and watched as I led the girls-

at the neighborhood park.

I’m safe.


Today I loved you more

As we sat-

my body on your chest

your hands curled up in mine

and we watched a film for class

and you translated what I could not understand

El Dorado-I am there.


Today I loved you more

When you picked up the thick, red,

week-old roses you bought from Whole Foods

and spread the petals from the living room

to the bed.

I’m following your lead.


Today I loved you more

When you picked up my daughter

sleeping in an almost gymnastic pose

on the living room couch

and tucked her in tight in the safety of the

4-cottage pink walls you painted.

Today I loved you more,

Today I loved you more,

And it is something


to be undone.


Copyright @Nichelle Calhoun 2013

Out of Season

Doesn’t it seem like fall?

The way we are scurrying about in the early darkness,

in the first frights of cold,

in the aftermath of honesty.


Doesn’t it seem like fall?

That all sun seems inappropriate,

And the day is only a countdown,

until it all disappears completely.


Doesn’t it seem like fall?

That a hug at all is like a sip of heat from

a porcelain mug,

a temporary warmth to the soul, the body

that eventually turns cold again.


Doesn’t it seem like fall?

As we wait for the last vestige of  love

completely detach from  its base,

and fade into the absolute,

deathly gray of


Copyright © 2013 Nichelle Calhoun

Four days In

The flowers are still alive.

The dress unworn.

The pain is fresh.

But, we are dead.