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Kaye Canter Mar 30
It rained today in Roanoke;
I got some peace of mind.
It cleansed the headache and my heart
From all I’d kept inside.

The rain today in Roanoke,
It seemed to ease my pain.
All the anger and frustration;
All the work I’d done in vain.

The clouds, they wept in Roanoke.
I’m happy with the grey.
I can’t dance in the sunshine
If we never have some rain.

Thank you, sky in Roanoke.
I’m ready for this fight.
I think all that I needed was
A little time to cry.

This is the first poem I've written in over a year. I've been feeling defeated by all of the issues in my work and personal life and bottling everything up. One night, it came out like a geyser. The following morning, on my way to work, it rained. I wrote this piece a few hours later during my lunch break, after my emotions had settled. I aptly named it Roanoke, after the city where I work.
Kaye Canter May 2014
I want to write a poem about you,
but all the words sound good in my head until they get out on paper.
I can't make anything out of the slur of words I wish I could say to you.
There's a sentence for all the years I want you to have back,
and words for all the days you spent waiting for probation in a cell.
You are still just as much of a man as you were before they stripped away your sanity.
They say that people make mistakes,
But you had to give up most of your life for just one of yours.
I like to think you spend so much time in the company of a bottle
because somehow, in your mind, you'll find the years that you lost at the bottom of every one.
I want you to know that Alcoholism is not a choice,
Nor is it a death sentence.
I want you to know that I do not bow my head in shame at you;
You are not a monster.
You are a child,
One that never got to experience innocence before it was taken from you.
You are not a trophy to be on display,
You are not a spectacle to be snickered at,
You are not a John Doe to be left lying in the cold,
You are not next week's breaking news,
You are not stupid,
You are not broken.
You are not a statistic,
You are not a stereotype.
You are sick.
Kaye Canter May 2014
When I wake at 5am,
I no longer am greeted by tufts of blond and brown.
Instead I am greeted by a pillow
With an empty indent where you used to lay
And it is then that I realize
When I wake at 5am
you will never awaken with me.
Kaye Canter Apr 2014
I love you.
When I say it, I want to laugh at myself
Because "how can someone love somebody they have never even met?"
"How can somebody love someone whose hands they have never held, whose scent they have never smelt, whose arms they have never been encompassed in?"
They say Skype doesn't count,
That video chatting doesn't mean you've really met them.
That talking on the phone doesn't mean that the butterflies you get in your stomach are real,
That the person you love is a mirage of pixels
and let's not forget the, "he could be a serial killer"
or "you don't really know who they are"
My personal favorite is "he's probably a forty year old *******."
But I love you.
They say that "love isn't based off appearances," but even so, I know that your eyes are green somedays or blue the next,
you hate the way your hair flips in every direction
and falls into your face because you can't make out the words on the screen behind the curtain of brown-
I know that your left shoulder blade protrudes more than your right,
And that you get breakouts on your cheeks if you sleep too often.
Love is based off "personality."
I know that you're funny,
you love football,
you hate to see a woman cry,
that you're rude all the time, except to your grandmother
that you only joke around so much because you're afraid of being hurt,
you love pizza,
your dog is your pride and joy.
Why can you be in love with someone the same gender
or someone a hundred pounds heavier or lighter
Or someone ten years younger
Or someone with a disability?
Because you love for personality,
because love is blind.
But why is that when I love you for your personality,
I am the one who is blind?
You don't love your partner for the way they feel or how they smell or how much they weigh
You love them for the words they say to you.
You love them for how "I love you" slides off their tongue like molasses,
For how "you're beautiful" isn't just a compliment, but a promise.
You love them for the way they make you feel, not for the way they feel to you.
I love you because you know more about me than people who have known me my whole life,
Because you've made me feel more alive in the last three years than I've ever felt in my entire life,
That you, someone I've never met,
has stopped me from suicide
and kept me from burning or cutting
yet people in the same house as me haven't noticed that depression is even a problem.
When I say I love you, I want to laugh at myself,
Because we still live in a society where love is only real if you can hold it in your hands.
This is just a rough draft, but I needed to post SOMETHING. Getting really tired of people saying long distance or online relationships aren't real.
Kaye Canter Feb 2014
Trot beside me before I start at a run,
Trying to find someplace new to be shunned.
The two of us, we’re surely a pair,
With my dark brown skin and your snow white hair.

Surely, in past lives, I was just like you,
Knowing no home but the one I’m used to.
Accepting of this just as constant as they are,
Never knowing the pain of self-inflicted scars.

And maybe, at some point, I too relied on senses,
Knowing nothing of the world beyond large wooden fences
Yet somehow being able to bring myself pure joy
By carrying with me the simplest of toys.

I bet that, perhaps, you’re some version of me,
That our meeting was more than coincidentally,
I know that, without you, my other half would be gone,
Forever lost in the form of a fluffy white Bichon.

I wonder if, sometimes, you wonder about what’s beyond the yard,
Or long to be in tales worthy of songs from the bard,
I wonder how often it is you feel alone,
Whimpering protests when my footsteps are gone.

It’s far beyond your simple comprehension,
But because of you, my life has a mission.
To see you excited when no one else cares,
It brings me out of my lingering despairs.

The small things you do, like lifting your leg
And using the restroom on even small pegs,
Things that, to you, are what life’s all about.
But things that, to me, I’d rather live without

The small things like the way your ears flop when you run,
A small little hop on four legs; I poke fun,
Somehow even the smallest of things bring me joy.
Like when you run away, come home, and attempt to play coy.

You measure life without regards to time,
You only know moments by how much you waste of mine.
I measure life in the future; I live years from now.
Yet the two of us manage together, somehow.

To my parents, caring for you is merely a chore,
Something to keep me busy or occupied when I’m bored.
But to me, caring for you, it’s much more than that,
I’d stop all I’m doing at the drop of a hat.

I refuse to dwell on reminders that you,
You’ll one day be just a distant memory, too.
I can’t imagine you one day not eating or old,
With black claws wrapped around you in a vicelike hold.

With you, I know someday we’ll travel the world,
I’ll give you all the things that I couldn’t before.
And if, there comes a day when to death I concede,
If I’ll be with you, no convincing I’ll need.
Kaye Canter Feb 2014
You know me better than I know me,
or perhaps I don't really know myself at all.

Maybe I only I liked the way the burns felt
because the heat marked the place of where your hands should have been,
and the pain reminded me of how bad it hurt that they weren't.

And you know my fears before I have to face them;
that racism is no longer a war of picket signs and water hoses,
but the way your father will look at you when he sees the way you look at me,
and the way your mother will look at me when I look at her for some hint of acceptance
and only find disgust in the shadows where her eyes should have been.

I know you better than you know you,
because you don't really know yourself at all.

Maybe you only inhaled crystal grains
because every shard of glass that shredded your lungs reminded you
of the times you tried to take a breath but realized that you were suffocating.

Because your pockmarked walls had holes that matched the ones in your heart,
one for every person that falsely assumed that abandonment
only created wounds that were self inflicted.

And maybe that's why we are like two jigsaw pieces from different sets,
that somehow managed, by chance, to match each other's jagged edges
and create a whole new picture.
A one in a million chance, that we both took.
Kaye Canter Feb 2014
The best thing about having dark skin is that the scars camouflage themselves,
That you don't fit into the pale-skin-dark-clothes-slit-wrists stereotype
That you're more likely to be profiled as a criminal than "emo,"
so no one ever bothers to check anyways.
The best thing about having dark skin is that my burns heal,
they leave barely noticeable discolorations in my dark skin.
That only I can make out the slight change in shade from brown to browner.
And maybe you could too, if you squint a little.
Maybe, just maybe you'd see the dark brown stripes
painted permanently against my even browner wrists.
The best part about having dark skin
Is that no one checks your wrists,
because everyone is too busy looking at your curly hair,
your big nose,
your big lips.
"are you on welfare?"
"do you use food stamps?"
"do you eat watermelon and kool-aid
with a side of fried chicken?"
Because no one ever stops to think
that black girls
would ever think about hurting themselves, too.
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