Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Anjana Rao Dec 2016
Bless brown girl hair
that needs so little
to be so much.

Bless its curls and waves,
and every non-straight permutation.

Bless the way it will not stand down,
will not be contained
by barrettes or headbands.

Bless brown girl hair.

Bless how it grows and grows and
if you take a blade to it,
it will only come back

Brown girl hair is the revolution,
made a statement
long before white feminists decided to stop shaving
or dye their pits and *****.

This hair is ours,
not available for white hands,
not up for debate.

Bless brown girl hair,
let me be like my brown girl hair.
A title is still in the works
Anjana Rao Aug 2016
There are no rules of how things are supposed to go.

There are norms,
There are laws,
There are risks, but

there are no rules.

What I mean is
every single ex you’ve ever had
has talked to you one more time, one more time, one more …
Their comings and goings doesn’t change anything,
they will always and forever be


What I mean is,
stop asking yourself
what is going on in their brain when you both agree that
you shouldn’t talk, when they tell you that what you had was
not healthy,

and then
send you a selfie weeks later.

Note to self:

not everything has to mean something,
they do not want to be your friend,
you will never be friends

[you never were].

Note to self:

There are no rules of how things are supposed to go.

What I mean is
people come and go,
and reply and don’t,
and listen and don’t
and there is no one thing that you
do in response.

Note to self:

stop trying to drill the word
into your head.

What I mean is,


has never changed a thing -
Not a feeling, not another person, not yourself,
only loaded you with
Guilt, guilt, so much guilt
that you think your back might break,
it’s hard to believe but,
you don’t have to carry that load.

Note to self:

**** them all,
you do not have to listen to and believe
every ****** thing everyone has ever told you,
you do not have to plead –
believe me, believe me, believe me
[and change]

to the people who’ve hurt you,
you do not have to prostrate yourself
to the authority figures
because they have more degrees and more success
than you do.

Note to self:

if it doesn’t work for you,
then it doesn’t work for you,


to your ****** up brain,
it is traumatized, produces toxins and noise and too many feelings, has been wrong, wrong, wrong, but

it has gotten you through.

Note to self:

it is okay,
it is not okay,
it just is.
Anjana Rao Jul 2016
Maybe they are right,
after all.

That I am
self absorbed,
off in my own world,
will not deign to come down.

I have been
shaped and marred,
by forces beyond my control,
so forgive me
if I seem a little


Believe me, I have tried
to change my nature –
tried to be warmer, more attentive, more involved,
but I can’t seem to help
who I am -
always off in some state of
never can be bothered
with reality.

if I am so cold,
why does the ocean
reach to kiss me

What is this pull
I seem to exert
without even trying?

I keep my distance,
keep my secrets,
my insanity
buried under scabs
of ice and rock.
If I am a liar
because of it,
so be it.

Call me what you will,
your life revolves around mine.
Inspired by the Moon tarot card. I pictured the moon as a ****** trauma-babe
Anjana Rao Jun 2016
I am no architect, but
I dream big.
I’d been out in the cold so long -
who could blame a bit of desperation?
All I ever wanted was a home,
some scrap of safety, security.

I thought I could find home
in another person,
so I built a tower
out of possibility,
out of every bit of desire
salvaged from all the old wreck sites.

My bricks were your
attention and love,
my glue was my hope.

I had the foundation in place overnight.


I built but
you helped,
encouraged me,
made me think
that I could do this,
that we could do this.

We built the tower together.


you are my idea of home,
you wrote to me once,
and I believed you,
thought words and intentions
could be as strong as bricks,
would glue us together.

I am no architect, but
this time I was sure
that the foundations were strong,
that desire could translate to permanence.

But I ignored the cracks,
thought they’d seal themselves
on their own.

I dream big,
but my foundations
were shaky,
made out of finite temperamental material
that crumbles to dust
when disaster strikes.


Disaster struck,
and once again
I was out in the cold,
left to the elements.
Silences are as devastating
as earthquakes,
and my tower turned brittle,
crumbled around me.

There is no safety in towers
Inspired by the Tower tarot card
Anjana Rao May 2016
If you fly too close to the sun
you might get burned.


I saw my chance
stretched out before me
and I jumped,
discovered I could fly.


I picked the sun,
paid the price
for the high.


I have known

And yet
every time
I plunge

it’s always the same
and pain.

Oh God,
the pain.


Deep in the dark,
I curse the day
I ever saw the sun.

Better, instead,
to have been born a mole,
content to spend my life
snuffling about in the soil.

Deep in the dark,
licking my wounds,
I am certain that this
is the end.


Good bye to
to love,
to warmth.

Good bye.


How could this have happened?
I cry out to myself,
but when the tears dry
I remember.

Remember how
I am addicted to risk,
addicted to the extremes of feeling -
anything to escape
the Nothingness.

I always seem to be courting
the ones that carry concealed weapons
they don’t know how to wield.

And, me?

I am the perfect target.


I figure I deserve this,
and so
I make rock bottom my home,
try to get used to the dark,
try throw a cloak over
the light I've known
try to bury it deep underground.


I dig and dig and dig.
My blood goes cold,
I hibernate.


I hibernate
until one day
I find I can move.

My limbs work,
I am not as broken
as I thought.


I am cold,
I miss the sun.


So I shake off sleep,
and pack up my things.

I am not a worm,
not a mole.
was never meant to be
my home.

I turn
all the swords in my back
into a ladder
and I haul myself up.


Back on solid ground,
I begin to warm up.
This is a break up poem.
Anjana Rao May 2016
I have called you
the best
and the worst,
strange now,
that I call you
nothing at all.

You are everywhere, but
I guess that’s a lie.
It’s not you,
I don’t know you,
[not anymore].

you have been reduced to
the echoes
of nostalgia,
that persuade me to stitch up the best
of the last two years
and, looking at my Frankenstein-like creation, say
I want to go back
when I know better.


You do not contact me,
are no longer interested
in what I eat
or what I write
or what I feel.


I have done my best
to scrub you from my life,
as if you were not a person,
but a stubborn stain.
I have deleted, unfollowed, thrown away
anything related to you,
not because I wanted to,
only so I could
get it into my head
that this is well and truly


I am doing all the right things
I suppose.
Logicking my way
through heartbreak
once more.

None of my exes can ever be friends,
the same scenes are played out
until the bitter end, and you
are no exception.
Anjana Rao Apr 2016
The worst thing,
most insidious thing
about trauma
is that
it doesn’t matter what anyone does,
in the end,
everything is,
(must be, has to be)
your fault.

Trauma is
a voice:
you should have known,
you should have done more,
you should have stood up for yourself,
what is wrong with you,
do you want to be miserable,
why did you trust,
don’t you ever learn?

Trauma is
you watching you
watching what you do,
watching what you don’t do,
watching it all go by.

Trauma is
a voice:
do something
do something
do something.

Trauma is
screaming at a pre-taped football game,
expecting a different outcome.

Trauma is
begging the fictional character to not open the door
when there is clearly a killer waiting.

Trauma is
the hole you keep finding yourself in,
whether or not you see it,
maybe you fall in,
maybe you dive in,
it doesn’t make a difference.

Trauma is
painful -
repeated openings of the same wounds,
hitting a bruise again, again, again,
watching the colors change -
but mostly,
it’s an embarrassment.

Trauma is
a voice:
This is fine.
You can’t tell.
This is fine.
You can’t tell.
This is fine.
You can’t tell.

Trauma is
your best kept secret.

Trauma is
the kind of ****** up
that can’t be named,
can’t be explained.

Trauma is
the kind of ****** up
that is too deep to be fixed.

Trauma is
who you are.
Next page