“We tell lies when we are afraid… afraid of what we don’t know, afraid of what others will think, afraid of what will be found out about us. But every time we tell a lie, the thing that we fear grows stronger.”
They hang around, hitting on your friends
or else you never hear from them again.
They call when they’re drunk, or finally get sober,
they’re passing through town and want dinner,
they take your hand across the table, kiss you
when you come back from the bathroom.
They were your loves, your victims,
your good dogs or bad boys, and they’re over
you now. One writes a book in which a woman
who sounds suspiciously like you
is the first to be sadistically dismembered
by a serial killer. They’re getting married
and want you to be the first to know,
or they’ve been fired and need a loan,
their new girlfriend hates you,
they say they don’t miss you but show up
in your dreams, calling to you from the shoe boxes
where they’re buried in rows in your basement.
Some nights you find one floating into bed with you,
propped on an elbow, giving you a look
of fascination, a look that says I can’t believe
I’ve found you. It’s the same way
your current boyfriend gazed at you last night,
before he pulled the plug on the tiny white lights
above the bed, and moved against you in the dark
broken occasionally by the faint restless arcs
of headlights from the freeway’s passing trucks,
the big rigs that travel and travel,
hauling their loads between cities, warehouses,
following the familiar routes of their loneliness.
I really don’t get how ppl can slut shame women and then turn around and complain when they lack sexual experience that’s like banning exercise and wondering why nobody can do a push up
Erykah Badu’s “Next Lifetime:” Fusing Tradition with Futurism
“Now what am I supposed to do
When I want you in my world
But how can I want you for myself
When I’m already someone’s girl?
I guess I’ll see you next lifetime.”
Times & Places of “Next Lifetime”
1) Motherland, 1637 A.D.
A traditional West African village. Erykah Badu sings about a man that “makes her feel like a little bitty girl” even though she is married to someone else.
2) The Movement: 1968
While wearing a traditional-looking head wrap, Erykah Badu is seen on a modern street setting. She runs into a man on the street passing out fliers (literature) and repeats the mostly the same verses.
3) Power Meeting, December 1968
Erykah Badu stands out from the crowd not just because she’s one of the few women around men, but because while everyone else is wearing hats and white collared shirts, her outfit still resembles traditional clothing. A brick comes through a window of a house occupied by her and other African Americans.
4) Motherland 3037 A.D.
An “Ancient Choosing Ceremony.” Style is mixed with contemporary (raincoats, silver make up) and the traditional (face paint, head wraps, long colorful dresses). It’s like a space-aged African village.
Erykah Badu merges African American histories from Africa to the Civil Rights Movement and uses them to imagine a unique future: one that blends West Africans traditions with an entirely new futuristic society.
And she travels from West Africa to the United States and then back to Africa—perhaps referencing Marcus Garvey and the Back-to-Africa movement. But just maybe.