woke up to sunlight and the sounds of steve sparrow under the softest covers on a mattress of satiny peace, remembering the feeling i felt leaving jus words last night after sharing the best part of myself with people i respect and admire. offering them my most sincere smiles and hugs and applause and encouragement and sisterly concern and advice and willing laughs and listening ears. i give in earnest - i offer out of love. but i'm selfish. cause i offer the love i look to receive. when i'm on that stage, karma brings all that positive energy i give right back to me, giving me the courage to try new things with my poetry, giving me the confidence to read what's in my heart, knowing that i'm amongst my people. it's not often that you receive what you give in equal or ample measure from people. from the Creator, it's to be expected. but sometimes His creation is so self-absorbed that they have no true interest in giving of themselves. so as most folks come to eventually find out, there's no point in expecting to be offered love - if you're going to pour love out of yourself, you need to be surprised to see it fly home to you like birds in spring. except where i went last night, i've gotten spoiled. i've been respected like the queen they call out in their poetry, like the sista they care about in songs, like one who is loved just because that's what we're supposed to do for each other. and never in my life have i seen black men and women loving each other like they do when we watch each other on the mic and share each other with our words - you don't get that at the grocery store or in school or at work. and no offense to our churches - but sinners feel comfortable in our presence, and still leave with positivity to chew on and inspire them. i know God is present when we gather. and i keep wondering if this is what it was like in africa, before there came people to hate us and confuse our love. i wonder if the ancestors watch us and smile and feel solace when we sow our knowledge and humor and spirits into each other. so no wonder i leave feeling beloved and cozy the mornings after. no wonder i find myself drawn to the scene like people are drawn to the light in the eyes of that special someone. there is love there. and it makes me cozy.