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B The Poet Aug 2
Wednesday, 14th of February 2018, 7.00 pm,
" breaking news, a mass-shooting happened today in Florida, American authorities are calling this the worst school shooting in U.S.A's history "
6 minutes and 20 seconds,
That's all it took,
17 confirmed dead,
15 injured,
Countless more lives ruined,
All in under 10 minutes,
No parent should ever have to hug their child,
So tight,
Just because it might be the last time they'll ever say goodbye,
No kid should ever have to be afraid of their school hallway,
Or be afraid of who's standing in the classroom doorway,
No kid should ever wonder if this day will be their last,
And no parent should ever have to bury their kid,
Six feet out of their reach,
So this is for Scott,
And for Alyssa,
For Martin,
And for Nicholas,
Not forgetting Aaron,
This goes to Chris,
And Luke,
For Cara,
And for Gina,
Joaquin and Alaina,
Meadow, Helena, and Alex,
Carmen and Peter,
You are all in our hearts,
Let's face it,
The Floridian community of Douglas,
Will never go back to " normal "
So, Washington? Trump?
Riddle us this?
When is this going to be added to your list of " proud American traditions "?
There are too many heavy hearts,
Too many dark days,
Too much chaos and confusion,
For this to be swept under the carpet again,
Just like the last time,
We weren't even a quarter of the way into 2018,
Yet there had already been over 30 mass-shootings since the beginning of January,
So here's to the people who aren't accepting the truth,
Who are too " confused " to realize what's going on,
For the people who haven't woken up to the fact,
That there were unidentified bodies,
Sitting cold in that school for over 24-hours,
And do not tell me I am too young to know what I'm talking to you about,
I stand alongside Emma Gonzalez and the hundreds of young people across the globe,
This isn't just for our lives,
This is for everyone's lives,
Since when did " don't shoot children " become such a controversial statement?
Since when did school safety become a debatable, two-sided matter?
So I will join my fellow marchers,
And yell loudly and unapologetically,
Until they hear our voices,
In the words of Emma Gonzalez,
Adults like it when we have strong test scores,
But not when we have strong opinions,
We are Marching For Our Lives,
And this is our legacy.
B The Poet Aug 2
So, you're a girl?
Welcome to the 21st century,
Welcome to a society that prioritizes our physical appearance over our actual personalities,
It turns out that these days we're only really good for three things,
To be faithful and devoted wives,
To be supermums,
Or to be on the arm of a rich old man,
I don't know about you but the last time I checked that job was reserved for a Rolex?

I'm done being told that I was made from Adam's rib,
My body is made up of the same elements that lionesses are built from,
Three-quarters of me are the same kind of water that beats rocks to rubble, wears stones away to nothing,
My DNA translates into the same 20 amino acids that wolf genes code for,
So don't you dare come at me with those " well, women are just the weaker *** " lies,
Our bodies alone have sunken ships and started wars,
We are anything but weak.

So here's my guide to being a 21st-century woman,

1: Don't believe them when they say that beauty is everything because it is not. Frida Kahlo didn't bat her eyelashes at the canvas and then there was a masterpiece. Joan of Arc and Grace O'Malley didn't make people cower at their feet because they had read an article called " 20 things women should never do on a first date "

2: Don't ever let them dictate your looks or what you do with your body, it's your choice. They profit off of our insecurities, so don't give them that power of you.

3: Do not listen to them when they sing to you that age-old melody " go for gold and be a winner, sell yourself to the highest bidder ", you do not need to sell your body to be successful.  You are good enough without a rich man to say that.
B The Poet Aug 2
Perfect lives,
Perfect paradise,
Snap, snap, snap and the camera is clear,
Flash, flash, flash and a couple of hashtags then add a filter to hide,
That splinter- the splinter in your mind scratching inside telling you to do this till you die,
Watching me, watch me, love and adore me, likes, views, and comments are all that feed me.
Trying to surpass your perfect life, it’s a ******* circle with a stabbing knife.
You’re missing out on life, you see nothing at all and you call this an adventure.
Once in a lifetime trip with the sun and the sand, you’re sitting with your phone in your hand and all that you're worried about is streaking your fake tan,
This is fakery in the making.
B The Poet Aug 2
If you're awake at 4 am,
You're either in love or lonely,
And I'm not quite sure which once is worse,
The thud of a broken heart,
Singing out from inside my chest,
My lungs gulping down fresh air like water,
In some desperate attempt to refresh them,
I can hear the static cracking back and forth in my veins.

It's all just static,
Stupid broken T.V static,
" Can't find the right channel " sort of static,
" Can't find the right ******* place to fit in " sort of static,
That thoughtless, mindless, blank-brained, numb-to-the-world sort of static,
It hurts just as much to feel nothing at all.

We turn our pain into poetry because anything that hurts this much,
Has to mean something to someone,
We don't use diaries,
Because those are meant for secrets, and we have none,
We let them spill out onto paper resembling bloodied bandages,
Because to be an artist is to bleed without the use of a sharp instrument,

We romanticise our heartbreak like it is the only lover we will ever know,
All of our love,
It is written into confessions,
That we will never speak,

We dance with devils and we are all gods,
We play a constant game of catch-up with the sun,
Then we dance until the stars come down from the sky,

We dissect ourselves until we shatter like glass,
Yet we get so confused when we break so easily,
We are the poets who write our poems onto the backs of pizza boxes,

The artists who sketch their thoughts onto bus stop walls,
We are the misfits, the broken and the bruised,
But we pushed through,
When society didn't give us our space,
We carved one out and called it home.
Ask
B The Poet Aug 2
Ask
You’d ask me what I was thinking,
And every time my answer would be you,
I was thinking about all the ways I could make you smile,
Or I was thinking about how every time you smiled, you got these deep dimples in your cheeks,
Or how even though you hated them,
I could have painted Van Gogh’s Starry Night with your freckles,
I was thinking about how you were such a rebel,
Yet deep down you longed for the domestic…

How you were the jigsaw piece that helped me to solve my eternal puzzle,

You were my very favourite paradox,
So insecure that you could crumble,
Yet you weren’t afraid of anything,

I always thought of you as a mirror of my thoughts,
But maybe you were just two years worth of bad luck...

I was thinking about how kissing you never seemed to get old,
How loving you never seemed to get tiresome,

And now you aren’t mine,
And you’re smiling at some other lover’s texts,

I’m beginning to think that maybe I wasn’t looking for someone to love me,
So much as I was after somebody, some warm human body to lie beside me,
Some heartbeat to synchronize with mine,
So, I could start feeling less alone,
And more alive…

To me, in those moments,
Your warm body,
Your heart beating against mine,
Thudding like a metronome,
That was love,
But it was in fact,
Trying desperately to keep time with the ups and downs of “us “,
The upside-down of us,

I now know why they call it “falling “ in love,
Because it is always up to the other person,
To choose whether to catch you,
Or to just let you keep falling…

I was always there whenever you felt hollow enough to need another body,
To make you whole again,

And I think we both know what happened with us,
How far we both fell…

And now I’m sitting here writing about you,
And I know that you would love this,
You always seemed to love being my “ muse “

This may be about you,
But it is not for you,

This is my version of screaming into the ocean,
This is my escape,
This is my way of letting you go,
Of forgiving you…
And forgiving myself for holding onto you when I knew that I shouldn’t,
And I so hate the fact that I miss you,
But day by day,
I am beginning to forget you,
Your smell,
Your touch,
Your laughter,
It is all but a distant memory,

A faded, jaded polaroid of us kissing in Kimberley Park,
Some faded black and white film of us waltzing to Edith Piaf in your room,

But now you are gone,
And… I am no longer hurting…
B The Poet Aug 2
Darlyn Cristabel Cordova-Valle hadn't seen her mother since she was one,
She came to the U.S to see her mother, she was hospitalized not long after she arrived. Her mother requested for her to be released, the government denied her request.
Darlyn died in U.S government custody on September 29th 2018 age 10.

Jakelin Amei Rosemary Caal Maquin liked to climb trees. She jumped when her father told her that she could come to the U.S with him.
She thought she might get her first toy; she'd only just got her first pair of shoes.
Jakelin died in U.S government custody on December 8th 2018 age 7.

Felipe Gomez Alonzo was excited to come to the U.S. he thought he might get a bicycle, his parents let him make the trip after he got upset that his dad would leave without him.
Felipe died in U.S government custody on Christmas Eve 2018 age 8.

Juan de Leon Gutierrez was a shy, good student. When he had to miss school to help his dad harvest coffee, he'd always run to catch his teacher so he could explain his absence.
Juan died in U.S government custody on April 30th 2019 age 16.


Wilmer Josue Ramirez Vasquez's mother brought him to the U.S to receive medical treatment for a condition which left him unable to walk.
Wilmer died in U.S government custody on May 14th 2019 age 2.

Carlos Gregario Hernandez Vasquez loved playing the piano and bass, his family called him Goyito. He had eight brothers and sisters. One of them, Edgar, had special needs. Carlos came to the U.S to help support Edgar.
Carlo died in U.S government custody on May 30th 2019 age 16.
These are only some of the documented deaths,
In 25 years,
It's estimated that over 10,000 people have lost their lives at the U.S-Mexico border.
B The Poet Aug 2
Dearest wildflower grinning,
With powdery, crooked teeth,
Hair, incandescent and unusual,
Bright-eyed,
Bright mind,
I write this although it was my last,
Follow me into the Holocene,
And the night ghosts will not steal your eccentric soul,
You shall always be an epitaph for the ages,
Your happiness plastered on pages,
Your blue eyes dance away,
Your irises discoloured and grey,
Never has indigo seemed so violent,
Never has Auburn seemed so opaque,
And for strong tongues to seem so silent,
And Berlin nights,
And London days,
David Bowie,
Our Ziggy, Our Starman,
Now there is life on Mars.
B The Poet Aug 2
The night takes the sun,
The cloud is now black.

She will wear the cotton in his voice,
Like a satin waistcoat,

Hearing her call through splintered walls,
And the wind blows as easily as the rain falls,
Slowly,
He feels as though he were a drop,
Hurtling through the sky,
Towards the moss-covered earth at a shattering pace,
Yet barely making a dent,
On the silver side of the place where she was,

On the other side of the door,
Just a track away,
And although she could not see him; she heard his sway,

She will not love him.
For she hardly loves herself.
She will only convince him that she is happy being this mess, this disaster,
And he will have no choice but to believe her,
Because their love is short-lived,
And only exists when she feels worthless and lonely enough to want his company,
He knows this,
She knows this,
Neither of them will say it.
The truth is an ancient myth neither of them has ever heard of.


2 am,
She can't sleep,
Sitting on the bathroom floor,
In the foetal position,
Cradling her own limp frame,
Love, to her,
Was that bottle of bittersweet wine,
Which she held in her hands,
As if it were a crucifix,
Her holy saviour,
Like it would really save her,
And every mouthful of that cheap rosé,
Burning her mouth,
But that was love,

Her Friday nights were filled with excuses and cheap wine,
She'd curl up on her bedroom floor,
She knew she missed him,
But she didn't want to admit it,
She'd dance in the cold, comforting hue of the refrigerator light,
Her face, red and swollen from the tears,

She thought about all the things that they adored,
They both loved summertime and flowers,
Her favourites were peonies,
His were daylilies,

She watched the rain pouring down the window,
And thought about him,
How his smile threatened to shatter his cheekbones,
How she'd rest her head on his chest and dance her fingers like Spider's legs up it,
How she'd count his eyelashes because she felt like every blink might send them flying,
He'd draw lines with his fingers across her freckles,
Imagining they were constellations,



Halfway across the city,
He stumbles in,
Late night,
Working overtime to pay the bills,
Pours himself a cup of tea and sits on the living room floor,

Thinking about her,
Thinking about whether biology could ever explain this ache in his chest,
When she is gone,

He thinks about how hard he works to make sure she gets the happy life she deserves,
He has her measured just right
When she grinds her teeth in her sleep, just rub her jaw gently,
She'll stop without
Waking up.

When he’d read to her in bed,
She'd watch him wide-eyed from his shoulder; Quietly studying his features
As he spoke.
She'd stop him if he lost her between two words she didn't quite understand.
She'd thank you him for explaining.
He was happy to,
She's worth it.

She's allergic to sugar, dairy, gluten
And eggs. He'd made her a hundred recipes, just right,
He had all the tricks
So he knew she'd eat.
He got used to the hassle.
She's worth it.

She was crazy about cartoons.
He'd let her watch them; seeing her laugh beats the game,
Hundredfold.
She'd love him for letting her read for hours and sit quietly drinking her tea,
Because their love was worth it,
He knew it. She knew it,
But they were both too shy to say.
The truth was an ancient myth they'd only ever read about in storybooks.

Nicotine-stained fingertips,
Curl around a pen,
A mouthful of hazy breath,
Calling it " her friend "

She inhales and holds her breath until she sees black-
blank spots in her vision.
She exhales and releases,
beautiful, long-limbed clouds of smoke.
Shrouding her face, covering her eyes
blinding her to everything,
but these pale tendrils,
fluid and simple,
Are all she wants right now,

To hover not quite at this moment,
Somewhere between the present and the future,
Blades of smoke,
Cut softly through her hair,

Her hand brushes against his,
His mind screams,
louder than even the most horrific of bombs to hold it back,
to close that last ******* space between their hands,
But all he feels,
All that shakes his entire body and soul is this crippling shyness,
That he can't shake,
And he refuses to go it,
It digs its toxic roots down to the depths of  his stomach and refuses to let go and he can't and he won't and he doesn't hold her hand,
  
He wondered if she loved him back,
He always hides from love,
Batting it away like it doesn't belong to him,
He was always scared,
That his hair is too brown for her to like it,
His eyes too dark for her green,

Little does he know,
She worries too,
That her legs are elegant but they are marked with her disappointment,
The purple and the blue will never go away,
Yes, the bruises will slowly heal,  
But by the time one problem is resolved, another sapling and will slowly take root and show its colours,

She said his heart is made to heal
But he can't find it,
It's buried so deep he can't hear it keeping time to his life song,
It's crushed under all his self-doubts and worries,
In that hollow, it grows,
Like a new bud,


And one day it will turn into a flower,

She mutters " what are you doing? "
His response to her comment is lost on his tongue,
It is somewhere tucked inside his conscience,
Playing hide and seek with the directions on how to talk to boys and how to talk to strangers without turning red,
And he's the seeker,

She tells him that he's beautiful,
But he can't hear her,
The voices taunting him inside his head are too loud for her soft voice,
Arguing about which way right
When he finds his answer it seems as if the time has already left,

It was already heading off in the other direction,
Leaving him tumbling over his daydreams and expectations,
Trying to get a grasp on what was happing,

She always forgot to say thank you
It was sort of a bad habit,
But she's already too focused on work,
She's always too worried about what will happen if she says something wrong,
If he'll turn you away,

He wants her to know that he wants her to stay,
Stay close and hug him whenever he needs it,
So he can help her through her hardships,
And they can help each other's hopes and dreams,
And carry them upon their shoulders.
Because they can speak now,
Truth isn't just a story,
It's their prophecy,

She likes stuffing unhealthy food down her throat and defeating
the urge to throw it all out and pushing it all down into her skeleton so that the food remains into her body, making bumps in her stomach and sticking
out of her ribs like unwanted monsters. she likes being ugly,
She likes that no one ever notices her and when they do, they don't say a word she likes that, she punishes her eyes every morning,
By waking up and realising,
She’s still here,
But he has her,
And she has him.
B The Poet Aug 2
Dusk and Nostalgia are old friends,
They sit drinking orange soda on the porch,
Reminiscing about the old days.
Dusk is all floral sundresses and sandals,
Nostalgia is all leather jackets and converse trainers.

The air is hot and thick with the breath of summertime,
It's like everything is going in slow-motion,
Everything is tinted with this warming yellowish glow.

They watch as soft sun filters through the trees,
The clouds purple, the skies painted pastel pink,
These are the moments you wish could last forever,
These are the moments that make you feel as if you are living in a Polaroid.
B The Poet Aug 2
I write poetry because... it is everything I will never be.
It is everything I wanted to say but never did.
Without it, I feel like scissors to violin strings.
Pulled apart, as if I was some case study, just waiting to be dissected.
Some unwanted biology lesson.
I pour my heart into these pages.
Crisp, white pieces of my mind.
Sometimes you just have to stop and observe the world.
Like you aren't in it.
Like you're watching some old black and white film.
Watching all your friends laughing together.
You feel as if you aren't in it.
The fact that you aren't there doesn't change a thing.
They're living their lives, all of them, together in that room.
While you watch.
Not alongside them.
Feeling as if life is truly a movie.
The other times you are part of this movie as a whole, you don't notice the other people who are all looking at the same things.
Thinking the same stuff.
That life is just a movie, with its actors and actresses, it's differing scenes.
It would easily go on without you if you didn't take place in it.
At that point, you realise that being afraid that somebody else will take your place, is irrelevant...
Cause somehow, everyone's place will be taken anyway, and that's because the movie is setting a new cast, and this time it's one thing you might not take place in.
Weird... I know.
Everything just seems to slot in perfectly without you there.
Almost like you were born into the wrong film.
Or handed the wrong script.
Like this isn't your life.
B The Poet Aug 2
She thought she knew herself better than anyone,
The hours she spent,
Stood in front of the mirror,
Picking new masks to hate every second,
Of every minute, of every hour, of every day,
She thought there was nothing more to her,
The blotchy skin and chewed fingernails,
The tired eyes,
Reflecting the sleepless nights- the morning tears,
She thought she was worth nothing.
One night the stars sent him to her,
She still sees him as a gift
So delicate and fragile,
One mistake and you’d slip through her fingers
Gone. To someone who deserves him.
You unfurled galaxies in her eyes,
Flowers in her mind,
And feelings in her veins,
You breathed new life into her old lungs,
Sang promises into her ear,
Filling her head with the thought of him.
He has hold of her heart,
As though it was precious to him,
But she knows better than anyone if he'd let it go,
then Darling, so would she.
But do you believe in soulmates?
She did,
She just thought there isn’t one for her,
I mean who could reach her soul?
Its sharp, jagged edges,
Torn and shredded,
It’s constantly dripping bright watercolour onto the white canvas,
How could anyone be hers,
Without being stained or marked,
Permanently,
Forever.
B The Poet Aug 2
You painted catharsis,
Colourful,
On the doors of a house, you've never lived in,
Because anywhere would do,
Nowhere really felt like home,
Do you remember me?
The thud of broken hearts,
Buried deep within our chests,
Human eyes can most accurately see
the most shades of green,
But... I don't know what it was about you,
But... with you,
You felt like a lucid blue,
You'd throw your hands into the air,
Like you were the holy Messiah,
At least... you made me feel holy,
And you'd whisper strange things to me,
And it would make me laugh way too loud,
Because you liked the way I laughed,
Easy. Breathe. Easy. Breathe.
I remember watching the moonlight dancing off the walls,

Beaming white on blue
Speaking softer than any storm,
Lover of darkness,
Queen of the cool breezes,
The seas of neon light expire,
And set me free,
Wind washing clichés,
Rain-soaked hair,
We talk rapidly,
We vigorously trip over each other's sentences,
Like they're paving slabs,
I was freaking out again,
Standing in the shower,
Trying to drown out the thoughts,
That was climbing haphazardly through my aching head,
We wrote our names onto the foggy glass windows.
B The Poet Aug 2
This heart of mine,
It's just a glass jar full of tissue paper butterflies,
It flutters from place to place and finds easy homes in another's collarbones,
Never has the phrase " be still my beating heart " resonated at a holier frequency with me,
This was supposed to be a question,
Not some " diary of a tortured artist " explanation,
Not a poetic confession, or whatever it's become,
I just wanted to know that if I was to listen,
I'd still hear the 8o8 beat of my broken heartbeat,
Because all my heart is,
Is just a glass jar full of tissue paper butterflies.
B The Poet Aug 2
How do I put into words the way you made me feel when you first started loving me?
The way you would say my name gave me butterflies,
It dripped off your tongue like honey,
How you understood all my tics and quirks like they were just a second language to you,

All my smiles were found in your eyes,
Alice through the looking glass,

You painted murals onto my skin and then proclaimed me to be holy,
You would say " us " as if it meant " amen ",
You spoke like a pastor,
And you looked at me like you were god,
You spoke vigorously,
You often spat out words a whole lot faster than your brain could process,
It was a sign of being a prodigy apparently,

I wished so hard for you to stop painting me with love in every line that you wrote,

I'd say your name over and over again just to see what shape it would make in my mouth,
What your name tasted like,
What you tasted like...

At the risk of sounding like a scratched vinyl,
I still love you,
I still love you,
I still love...
The way you made me feel,

You said that " you can't expect a sunset to admire you back ",
But how can the moon admire the sun when they were never meant to be,
Always passing each other by,

You always called me " your Icarus ",
Because despite being told I couldn't,
I would fly desperately towards my dreams,
Sometimes to my detriment,

I would call you " my sun ",
Not because you were too beautiful to even look at,
But because even when people warned me that my wings would melt if I flew towards you,
I didn't heed their warnings, so my wings dripped wax all down my back,
Scorched marks of waxy feathers seared into my burning skin.

There was forgiveness in every breath of you,
I was a mere mortal,
Who you saved from sin,
Allowing me to drink the holy nectar from your lips,
Letting me bathe in the sacred oils that pooled in the depths of your collarbone,
I needed someone to show me my place in all of this,
And there you were,

I spent a lot of time watching you and you spent a lot of time loving being watched.
You were the first red-wine¬-drinking, pretty-boy rocker in skinny jeans who'd ever carried me off of my feet,

I saw something in your eyes,
And I think you saw something in mine,

I cracked open my ribs and spilt my guts,
All for you,
I'd have followed you to the graveyard,
All you would have had to say was " please ",

You could make me feel like a giddy schoolgirl,
Whenever you said that you " loved me ",
You loved me for all my broken jigsaw pieces,
You loved me for all my flaws,

You gathered up all the shattered shards of my broken glass heart,
And helped me to sticky tape it back together again,
You gave me the space to open up,
And as we sat there,
Sifting through the memories,
I'd find an embarrassing one,
As soon as I'd show it to you,
You would say " I'd have done it too ",

It's 11:26 on a Monday night,
And I haven't stopped thinking about you since your mum said that you got a new boyfriend,
And I know that we separated on good terms,
And I know that I shouldn't be jealous,
And I know that I should just appreciate that you have someone who loves you,
I should just stop being so petty and just be happy for you,

But... I can't,
Can't stop picturing you with him,
Laughing at all his jokes,
Singing all the songs you used to sing to me,
Wrapping your arms around him in the same way you used to do with me,

You once told me that " whenever it rains, it aches ",
And I never understood that phrase until now,
It's nice to know that the sky cries too sometimes,

What went south with us?
The world used to be at our feet,
Now it feels as if someone has dropped it onto my shoulders,
When did " I love you " become an apology?

Whenever I'd start blabbering about something,
You would never get bored,
Just say that you " loved me ",
And flash me a smile,
A toothy, devilish Tiger's grin,

I could sit and watch you dance for days,
Your hips swaying like tidal waves,
Curving like mermaids tails,
The whole time we were together,
I was never really one for dancing,
To you, it was like redemption,
You said that music made you " feel alive ",

I don't know what it is but I miss them,
I think it was something in their eyes when I kissed them,

I always doubted religion,
But I found god in a field on a cold September night,

It took you over a year to say that you loved me,
Nevertheless, those words still tasted like holy water to me,
I spent the next week,
Churning those words over and over in my head,
Like clothes in a tumble drier,

Today I feel like all of the wedding dresses donated to charity shops,
Today I feel like a chest full of heartache,
And a mouthful of broken promises,

Your name was the only thing which made the alphabet matter to me,
Counting out the syllables of your name,
Like " Hail Marys "

Your body, spread-eagle across my mattress,
Like a motorway overpass,
The comforting hum of your breath,
Buried deep within your chest,
Like a subway train pulling into the station,
Your eyes, burnt-out neon signs,
You were my haven, sanctuary city,

We'd take long walks in the rain together,
Hiding your hands in oceans of pockets,
You were my tsunami,
You broke down all my walls,

Little did I know, you were about to start making " I love you " sound like a schoolyard chant.
B The Poet Aug 2
I remember it pretty clearly,
It was Sunday, June 12th, 2016,
It was a rainy summer as usual,
I was 11-years-old at the time,
I was sitting in my bedroom,
Listening to the radio when I heard it.
It was the first time I heard about mass-shootings.
49 deaths.
53 injuries.
It left me in shock.
It had never occurred to me that people could be so blinded by hatred and intolerance.
They don't write songs for heartbreaks like this,
There isn't a " chick flick " that could fix this,
I feel like someone has poured fire over all my emotions,
Tonight, it feels as if the sky is a graveyard of dead stars.
I'm not going to turn this into some poetic masterpiece.
This is death,
Unfixable wrongs,
Unhealable wounds.
The guilt of still being here when 49 lives are gone is drowning me.
I am sick of praying like something is going to happen,
I am sick of praying until my knees ache,
I am sick of talking about it,
People spitting out opinions like gunfire from a rifle,
Spilling out like blood with their last breaths,
I am sick of wet cheeks and red eyes.
It feels like everybody is to blame,
But at the same time, nobody is to blame,
The system is to blame,
The government is to blame,
We are to blame.
This is becoming our new " normal "
But right now it feels like we are all halfway between a heartbeat and heartbreak.
How
B The Poet Aug 2
How
How beautiful must a black woman be before you mourn her?
How heroic must a black man be before you grieve him?
How cute must black children be before you lament them?
How many cultures must you steal from indigenous people before you begin to see their missing women?

How many women must die from unsafe abortions before men become comfortable with women having rights over their own bodies?
How many corpses of innocent people must there be to make leaders fight for justice?
How many LGBTQ+ youths must take their own lives before governments begin protecting them?

When does it end?
When does enough become enough?
B The Poet Aug 2
If you were to go looking for Icarus,
You'd have to travel all the way to the end of the world,
New York City!
The city where dreams come true,
You'd have to travel to a run down lower Eastside apartment,
You'd find a failed theatre student,
Lining up empty wine bottles along his window ledge,
Like he was arranging a stained glass mosaic,
This city is just a shallow concrete pipe dream,
Nothing but burnt-out hopes and broken promises,
A city where Icarus would fit right in.
He listens to Debussy and waltzes around his kitchen.
He drinks dollar-store liquor like it was holy water,
He smokes Marlboro lites as if they'll really save him.
He sites on his balcony and paints the city skyline,
Even though nobody will ever see his paintings,
They are his salvation,
His confessional.
He flinches whenever he sits down,
His wounds are still sore,
A reminder of his recklessness,
This is where you'll find Icarus,
In a run-down lower Eastside apartment,
In the city where dreams come true.
B The Poet Aug 2
If you should dissipate,
Please take me with you,
I vow to hereby love the void.
I pledge my alliance to the hopeless,
I offer my soul to nothing at all.
If you should dissipate,
Please take me with you,
Scatter shatter letters,
Leave me a trail of lost lexis,
If you dissipate,
Before you go,
Feed me a story,
For I feel hollow,
Plant me a garden,
Within the emptiness of my ribcage,
If you should dissipate,
Leave me your voice,
Cotton soft,
And although you have gone,
I still hear your sway.
If you should dissipate,
Leave me your legacy.
B The Poet Aug 2
5 am,
Can't sleep,
Every time he tosses and turns,
He goes to the bathroom,
Wash hands,
Wash face,
Cold tap only,
Hot's broken again,

He makes a mental note to call the plumber tomorrow,
He counts down the hours on the clock,
Wishing, waiting for it to stop,
He stares into the bathroom mirror,
Trying to find pieces of himself,
That aren’t already burnt to ash,

He was so artistic,
He painted smiles onto everybody's faces,
Except his own,
He was a phantom,
A whisper,
Only a ghost,
Everyone who met him,
They were just hopelessly search for a pulse,
That they knew they wouldn't find,
He was only a waste.

Bathroom sink,
Runs cold, wet fingers through itching scalp,
Drags them right down,
The nape of his neck,
Ice water trickles to the back of his spine,

3, 2, 1,
Tap's leaky,
He feels like life isn't an adventure anymore,
More of a deadly maze with poisonous leaves and jagged rocks sort of thing,
The kitchen,


1, 2, 3,
Sticky, cracked, peeling linoleum floor,
Chipped countertops,
Stained with droplets of spilt tea,

He never feels holy,
He only feels ungodly,
His heart is filled with memories,
From good times that never actually happened,

He isn't a smoker, a binge-drinker... nor an addict,
He is just hooked on the feeling of being real,

He sleeps irregularly,
He cries and breathes at the same time,
Yet he still manages to not make a sound,
His face falls apart every night,
And he pieces back together every morning,

He rolls his fingers into his palms,
Closes his eyes,
Holds his breath,
And counts to ten,
Hoping the air inside of him will slowly expand so much that he'll diminish,
So he'll have to rebuild himself all over again,
He still holds his words in tightly clenched fists,
He still holds his mind in weakened wrists,
He sits on the cold, tiled bathroom floor,

He is blue,
His smile is charcoal black,
His eyes are the colour of cognac,
He is now the darkest colour on the spectrum,

Curled up securely in the corner,
He starts his morning,
Pulls himself out of his duvet cocoon,
And drags himself to the shower,
Scorching hot bullets of water,
Scar his back,
He doesn't mind the heat though,
It's 5.30am,
At least that's what the wall clock says, he puts the kettle on,

1, 2, 3,
Spills coffee on the floor,
Drops cafetiere,
Milk's off as well,
How could this day possibly get any worse?
He could make you feel like gravity didn't exist,
Trying to steal his heart would be like trying to pick up all the shards of a shattered glass bottle,
He's not a man, he's a storm with skin,
And he is now the eye of the hurricane,
That he was once within,

The bus journey to work,
Last time he checked,
It was 5.45am,
The fogged windows play out scenes of rain-soaked cities,
Sun-bleached asphalt,
Glistens in the frosty, unwelcome downpour,
Curbs shift in surges,
Down canals of rainwater,

Even if the world was crashing down around him,
If he was on the edge of heaven,
Trying not to fall into hell,
As long as he can still be here,
He'll be fine,
This city is a playground for the rich,
And a battleground for the poor,

This ungodly place is filled with smokers,
Quietly inhaling their toxic fumes,
Breathing smoke clouds so big,
They'd have you believe they were skies,

This disgusting place is filled with drinkers,
Turning their bodies into oceans of regret,
Lakes of debt,
Of all the student loans that they could never pay off,


This city is filled with Angels and Monsters,
Saints and Sinners,
Walking down the high street,
Where buzzing neon signs,
And glowing streetlights,
Cast shadows onto the paving slabs,
Making it look like a watercolour canvas,

There's nothing like a city before sunrise,
With its brisk winds and at least a hundred different shades of grey,

Nervously,
He checks the clock again,
11.25am,
It's his insomniac's lullaby,
11, merges murkily with his sleepless nights,
Ticking of the clock,
Rings loud in his ears,
Almost like church bells,

Is he the writer who sits abandoned?
Talking to the moon,
He never imagined a city to be so isolated at dawn,
A place so bustling for so long,
Could become so empty...
His bus stopped outside the subway station,
He feels like life is gradually becoming,
Just another lucid hallucination,

3, 2, 1,
He's on his way,
Up the hill to work,

1, 2, 3,
He takes a second to himself,
To breathe in the snowflakes,
He always liked those little flower blossoms that erupt in bursts of vibrant colour,
Through the grey sidewalks,
Now it's back to reality,

3,2,1
He steps back into the cold winter air,
And returns to his daily journey,
1,2,3
He's wandering through the city centre,
He checks his phone again,
It says 11.45am,
Work starts at 12,
Frostbites violently at his lips,
Swirling smokes twist around his fingertips,

These are the days he dreads most,
Early mornings,
Late nights,
Diets of,
Salty fries,
Cold coffee,
Microwaved chicken pieces,
He gorges himself on the only food his pay check grants him the pleasure of eating,

This is what happens when it's dark out,
Monsters are coming...
Well.... his are already on the prowl for him,
But he's already learned to hide,
That's all he's done,
His entire life,
He can be safe that way,
But trust me,
He's cutting steel with a blunt knife,
10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and finally 1.
B The Poet Aug 2
The rain crystallizes,
Collecting fragments of neon lights,
Like shards of beach glass,
Hoarded onto the windows,
London,
" the city that never sleeps ",
Poor thing,
Kept awake by the incessant sounds of its thousands of inhabitants,
Half-dipped in Latte froth,
And skinny soy mochas,
Ode to a vacant city,
Too exhausted,
Can you hear the Void calling?
B The Poet Aug 2
Ode to the artist,
Who wears her heart on her sleeve,
Who never leaves her house without a paintbrush,
Who'd rather go on a date to a gallery,
Instead of a coffee shop,
Who's got more paint on their clothes,
Then in their art boxes,

Ode to the muse,
Who're aching soft hands are caught in her dark, messy hair,
Leather jackets, skinny jeans and cat-eye eyeliner,
Electric eyes,
She's a devil on fire,
She's got your name written on a cigarette,
So with every drag,
It burns a little more and hurts a little less,

Ode to the poet,
Who sits on her window ledge,
Watching the city lights,
With her head in the clouds,
At 4 am,
Tired, stargazey eyes,
That sparkle in the sunlight,
She observes from afar,
Watching cautiously from the dark,

Ode to the bookworm,
The wild child,
With a taste for adventure,
The braveheart,
Who spends more time in fictional worlds,
Then in the one that's real,
There's a certain fire in her eyes,
And it's starting to spread.
B The Poet Aug 2
' Why are you so loud about gay rights, all the time? '
' Why does everything have to be about The Gays? '
' It's 2019, why do we still need Pride? '
Because in the U.S.A, there are more than fifteen states where it is legal to fire someone for being gay.
Because same-*** relationships are still illegal in 72 countries,
Because in some countries, it's legal to stone people to death for being gay.
Because Chechnyan authorities can still issue statements like ' **** your gay children before we do '
Because despite only 7% of American youth identify as gay,
Gay youth make up 40% of homeless youth in the U.S.
Because the average age of a trans person is 35.
We may have come a long way,
But we still have a long way left to go.
I respect your beliefs,
But not when they are damaging my human rights.
I am sick of people debating my right to exist.
I am sick of having to tick the " other " for my gender on forms,
We are proud, we are loud and we will celebrate our existence.
We are celebrating our ability to exist openly without facing intolerance and hatred,
Which in this world isn't guaranteed.
We are celebrating our rights to be treated as equal to everybody else.
Before you say that being LGBTQ+ is a choice,
Let me just tell you that I have friends who have prayed to God to make them straight, do you think that they'd choose that?
I have friends who are scared to leave their houses because they might get beaten up or yelled at in the streets for being who they are, do you think that was their choice?
I know people who have lost their friends, their families and their homes for being gay, don't tell me that you genuinely think they'd choose that?
The first pride was a riot, ****** and violent,
We invited you to fight alongside us but you just cast a blind eye,
Yet you're all glitter and rainbows when pride became a party,
We're here, we're queer, and we are not going down without a fight.
B The Poet Aug 2
They say children should be seen and not heard,
So watch out world because we are spitting riots,
Say " beautiful " and point to your bodies,
Say " confident " and wear it like a dress or a suit,
Say " strong " and " unbreakable " and show the whole world what you are made of,
We are the poisoned youth,
Products of a " look-at-me ", self-absorbed society,
Our desperate obsessions with attention,
You blame us for our digital addiction,
Yet it is you who sing to us that bitterly dishonest fallacy, like some sacred hymn, giving us a fear of rejection,
You taught us that the only place we will ever feel safe,
Is curled up within these skins which we have been taught to hate,
Why should we respect a system which has no respect for us?
This is it,
We will be seen, and we will be heard.
B The Poet Oct 4
They tell me that even when the Titanic was sinking, the musicians kept playing,
And I'm thinking,
How as my body hit the water like springtime roses coming alive,
Like whiskey hitting ice,
When I was sinking below the surface,
You just stood on the deck and watched as I drowned...
B The Poet Aug 2
Unfortunately being " gen z " means that this system has got its sights set on stealing your voice.
Because in a society that profits from your self-doubt, loving yourself is a rebellious act.
So turn your tears into bullets,
Turn every artery in your heart into barrels for your gun.
For you are the product of a machine that chewed you up and spat you back out again because it didn't like the way you tasted.
If this world tries to take your voice then give yourself a new one.
Yell loudly and unapologetically.
When they tell you to be quieter,
Stand taller,
Rise higher,
Shout louder.
Because we are all in this together, whether we like this or not.
The stronger we are,
The weaker they become.
So we will not stand idly by while you treat us as if we are inferior.
This is the final straw,
There is no uprising coming.
We are the uprising and the revolution will not be televised.
B The Poet Aug 2
I refuse to be just another statistic,
Just another exotic wonder,
Your excuse to say " oh I love mixed-race babies! "
I will scrub this dirt from my skin,
For if God had made me in his image,
Why am I not pure like him?
" What's your name then? "
Disappointment hits when my name rolls off of their tongues just as easily as their own,
I am mixed, not exotic,
Not your fetish,
You wear our hair,
Hips,
And lips like they belong to you,
Like when people on Instagram call you " cute ",
For taking something that doesn't belong to you.
You treat our culture as something you can just slip in and out of,
Like you are playing dress-up.
" So where are you really from? "
Don't you just mean " why don't you look like me? "
Go on,
Pick me apart like a case study in some desperate attempt to work out why I'm so different,
Not black enough,
Not white enough,
An alien in my own country.
B The Poet Aug 2
The gods are sick of being gods,
So they slink away into dark alleyways,
And underground clubs,
Zeus drinks his worship from a cracked martini glass,
Artemis is locked up in some grimy jail cell,
Somewhere outside of the city,
Blood on her knuckles,
From the drunken streetside brawls, she incites,
If you were to go to a ***** little club on 55rd street,
Hiding in the smokescreen of darkness,
You'll find a saddened Apollo,
All burnt wings,
Scorched by cigarettes and whiskey,
This city's salvation isn't found in a holy temple,
It's found in the bottom of a champagne glass.
Moths flit and flutter around buzzing streetlights,
The air is thick with smog.
Aphrodite is awake again,
Drinking alone in the hotel bar... again,
she has eyeliner and mascara ringed around her eyes,
Left there from a one night stand she was already regretting before it had even begun,
One timid smile from the bartender and they're up on the rooftop,
Sharing a cigarette and naming the constellations after his signature cocktails,
Welcome to The City Of The Gods,
This so-called " heaven " is crumbling at the feet of these deities.
There are boys who win you over smoothly and romantically,
With roses and candle lit dinners,
And then there are boys who shove their hands down your throat and rip out your guts,
And leave you standing there,
Bleeding out...

There are girls who are as sweet as syrup,
A warm stickiness that never really washes away,
There are girls who are like dandelions,
Soft and gentle,
Who disappear like dust at a single touch.
B The Poet Aug 11
The summer of 2019 was the " spill-your-guts-to-strangers-under-streetlights " sort of summer,
Evenings that felt like they were dawns,
The lilac light of sunset just reaching the trees of the graveyard,
As you turned to me and asked me about my poetry,
So, I told you an old tale of mine,
About despairing gods, moping around New York,
And you said that it made you smile,
The fact that I never really wanted to write about where I lived,

Like all I wanted to do was escape,
Like I wanted to write my way out,
But everybody was escaping from here, so it wasn't much of an escape anyway,

The air was thick with the last days of summer,

And that was the first time you hugged me,
You'd hugged me at the bus stop,
But you were mid-leap over a metal barricade,

But when you hugged me,
In that graveyard,
By the old, stone chapel,
I knew that the summer would be immeasurably better because you were in it,

Because it was a " spill-your-guts-to-strangers-under-streetlights " sort of summer.
B The Poet Aug 2
Thinking back to when we were younger,
We’d buy fizzy sweets and **** on them until our tongues burnt,
Thinking back to when we were younger,
When we knew exactly who we were, and where we belonged.
When we were younger,
We would turn dining room tables into submarines and palaces,
When cardboard boxes could carry us to the moon and back,

Childhood is a warm, sweet syrup and its stickiness never truly washes away,

I see it in your face whenever our eyes meet and you just whisper “ run “,
I see it when we were up to our knees in some muddy riverbank,
Howling like wolves,
Laughing like hyenas.
I see it when we both see a log swing and share a knowing look,

Childhood is not some docile dandelion that in one swift breath is gone forever,
So let’s be wild,
Like in balmy summer afternoons when you’d turn on the cold sprinkler and we would dare each other to dance through it,

The world doesn’t need to exist for us,
We exist in our own worlds.
B The Poet Aug 2
It's exciting,
To run through the blazing light,
To escape these forever days,
To escape the non-stop reality,
To just be this naive child again,
Who loves and explores with glimmering, hopeful eyes,
Who chases butterflies that run away from her into a sunshine haze,
As a child,
I would have underwater tea parties,
Dreamy aquatic wonderland,
I was too stubborn to come up for air,
Forever lost in my imagination,
Now I am older,
I spend my time hiding in trees,
Because, c'mon, who remembers the nights that they got good sleep?
I read to escape this non-stop reality,
We get so lost in pretending,
That we forget, we are only a moment,
It's strange, isn't it?
In one minute,
Or sixty seconds,
This little oasis of madness,
Will be gone,
Isn't that sad?
But we're too young to be sad,
I feel bad for the people who will never go insane,
I mean... You can't get lost if you don't know where you're going,
If you hadn't already realized,
Behind my smile is everything you will never quite understand,
So I'm just going to ignore the fact that you're trying to read me,
I'm going to blast this music until I can't feel a ******* thing,
We are the teens out parents warned us about,
The punks, the poets, the outcasts, the misfits,
We're just the Lost Souls,
So here's to the nights that made us feel alive,
Where we stayed up until the sunrise,
Breathing new life into old lungs,
Even when we were choking on laughter,
Lost in worlds that don't exist,
Sway seconds, ecstatic bliss.

— The End —