been wearin' diamonds for years, so you better respeck it
you know my name, it infamous
you don't know my face no more
cuz when a smile only in your memory
it never shine as bright
black, wash it out of my skin with bleach
so black you can't leave it or her behind
cuz when you fear her, she just grows
she is a animal, untamable
see the crown vic, the men with gold badges
run, let the crackheads and junkies become
what i have been since the beginning
you heartless, and that what i love bout you
so you better turn them floodlights off, let me see for
one goddamn second
watch my wrist as i dance,
cuz it's your money there, glistening under the fluorescent lights
AP, thirty thousand on the face
and you think i can just be sedated
but you know trap queen
don't fear shit
expect everbody's faces sayin'
that he playin' you that he cheatin'
but trap queen is motherfucking royalty
queen is louder than trap ever was
your new york street cat-calls
will never touch me
because i am woman,
and you will fucking hear me
roar, loud enough
to shake the earth
people always said to me
"you're too young to be a feminist"
but what does that even mean?
are you ever to young to fight?
i swear on the bible
girls with dreams and big ideas
are scarier than monsters
and her eyes are not oceans,
she is not a tsunami
she is beautiful
she is god
she is woke
she is queen
the black girl, the white girl
the brown girl all make
and I want
to savor every goddamn moment
When I was little,
I used to hate having my door closed,
I would scream and cry
In fear of what the shadows could hold.
I was afraid of a box
Where I’d be held hostage
Caged with a lock
And no key
That pain was like the sting of a bee.
Now at 17 I realize that I wasn’t afraid of the dark
I was afraid of depression
Making its mark.
I was afraid of the endless battle of trying to fall asleep
Not wanting to wake up
But not wanting to dream.
I was afraid of the hope I would lose in that battle
Afraid of the chains
That made my hollow bones rattle,
Because in the light of a new day
I’d stay inside
“I’m tired” I’d say,
But the truth was much simpler
Than a cheap fix
I am afraid of myself
And I can’t change it.
i was diagnosed-
a disease of the mind
a senseless surreal sensation
sent my way
i sometimes bite my tongue
till it bleeds
the taste like copper in the sun
i sometimes curse my brain
for lying to me
i've been told so many
so which do i believe?
i feel crazy
am i crazy
no i can't be
but i might be
my perfect preacher
in a starched-white shirt
tells me it's GOD
i need to believe
follow his ways and you will succeed
my pill pushing psychiatrist
in his jet black suit and tie
tells me it's BIOLOGY
study and you will succeed
the free spirits
say it's fate
be loose and you will succeed
but which one is right?
i laugh at myself
this is all too hard
i guess i'll give up
my twinkling tears
will never stop.
I am numb
feel i need to feel
The two fingers down
my throat the blade running on my skin let me out
let me in
I am aching but I am
feeling the shame leave my body through scarlet drops
but it's not enough
to rid me of
I cannot hide from the demons screaming to get out of this prison
they tell my fingers to break them out
let them out
until I throw up
I am ashamed of the reflection on the toilet but I don't regret
any of it
pretty means hurt
beauty is pain and I have no right to complain how my stomach burns
when I rid it of the two protein bars I had today
how I'm running out of long sleeved hurts to hide my mistakes
how I drown in my anxiety when somebody asks me if I'm okay
I do not get to complain
because I had become beautiful
How come you left my mom?
Was she too sweet,
like the sugar she saturated your coffee in,
Or was she too kind,
letting you buy every
little boy play station game?
She warmed you like the sun,
penetrating your skin,
tanning your insides.
Was she too bright, beautiful,
How come when I see you, I still smile?
As my family curses your name, I smile.
When they tell me “He’s not a good father” , I defend.
their nostrils flare, but I
How come I forgave you so damn easy?
Maybe, so I can forgive myself,
for not being daddy’s little girl.
Not being able to gently step on your feet,
dance around the house.
For not being my sister, who has a father,
Enveloping her in wave after wave
of calm ocean love.
How come you haunt my dreams?
Voice calm, forgiving,
whispering: “I love you.”
“I’m so proud of you.”
“I miss you.”
soft whispers of broken promises echo
How come you stayed for him?
Was it because you knew
you could play baseball with him?
Or was it because when he turned 15,
you could teach him
how to pick up girls like dandelions?
How come boys break promises?
Not just boys, men.
Men like you,
Who tell 10-year old’s that
their present is on the way:
“It’s in transit.”
“It’s in the mail.”
“I just shipped it.”
“It should be there.”
“Happy Birthday Honey.”
How come I look for guys like you?
They say I’m “asking for it.”
Wanting to snatch up every simple, soft
Maybe they’ll keep me
‘til you return.
You were my first definition
of a prince,
How come I don’t trust anyone,
even that nice boy swaying silently to the song
that I adore, or that one who helps me
through dreadful chemistry lectures?
How come you text “I love you”?
When I’m alone, crying
over the latest breakup,
Submerging myself in heart wrenching
Drowning in the comforting
lyrics. The soft ping of a text,
A heart emoji
I love you.
Your texts have become another promise.
I have begun to count down the days
until those words are murmurs
And three words become
How come, I still say “I love you too”?
How come you walked away before I could even walk?
How come my last name still follows me around like a brand?
How come you moved so fucking far away?
How come I believed you year after year,
Where are my presents,
Wrapped quickly in promises,
stamped “return to sender”
Let’s be very clear here.
Boys are not assholes by nature. It’s not in their genetic makeup to automatically be mean-spirited or cruel. Being born with a penis does not predispose anyone to being the kind of person whose hands make a welcome mat of my hipbones, who licks his lips as if looking at an appetizer, whose breath laced with tequila, privilege, and desperation slurs "Do you kiss your mother with that mouth, baby?" from the other side of the street.
Genetics does not do that. Society does.
It is the reason I know Title IX better than my own social security number. It is the reason I have to clench my keys in white-knuckled fists when I walk home from school. It is the reason I avoid eye contact at all costs because that "counts as permission." It is the reason I am told my mouth is useless unless he's the one putting something in it. It is the reason women all over this goddamn planet get asked "Well... What were you wearing?" because apparently my outfit speaks louder than my voice, but you must not have met me because I can be pretty damn loud.
It is the reason I am told "You know boys won't like you if you don't stop with that feminist crap." Who the fuck asked you? If you think that passionately wanting equality and not being afraid to voice that is "crap," I don't want you to like me anyway; in fact, I want you as far away from me as fucking possible. I don't give a shit about your disapproval and I never will.
Maybe you're right - "locker room talk" is as American as baseball, or apple pie, or roofies. "How could he possibly help himself? If he saw you in that dress, what was he supposed to do? NOT assume you wanted him??"
YES. That's exactly what he was supposed to do: NOT assume I wanted him, or anyone else in the room for that matter. Stop excusing sexual harassment because "boys will be boys;" my skirt is not an invitation, nor is anything but the sober word "yes" - and I include the word "sober" because yes, it does make a difference.
So no. I don't give a fuck.
And no. I won't stop with "that feminist crap."
And no. Boys will not be boys. Boys will be held accountable for their actions, just like everybody else.
And yes. I do kiss my mother with this mouth, but you can keep dreaming.
Signed, a Feminist
I keep my mouth closed,
using super glue like it's chapstick.
Lips sealed but hands free, writing my secrets into poetry,
I sometimes feel very cowardly only being able to share empty words about my empty feelings to empty faces on this empty stage.
I don’t cry as often as I should, maybe I’m just drained, maybe I’ve just emptied
The drain that connects my tear glands to the rest of my body.
And on the off chance I cry-
my pillow must have nightmares from my screams,
and sometimes- sometimes I hear my pillow sobbing with me.
This is a talk with myself
That's long overdue
And I think it's very important for you to understand that
You're a piece of shit
I know you tried to stop degrading yourself
Because he doesn't like it
He actually sees something of you
But not even God himself
Would look at you
And see his child
Not that you cared much anyway
What's going on through that head of yours?
Has the deep dark ocean in your mind
Finally kick into your lungs?
Did you go looking into the dusty files
Hidden in plain sight again?
Have you yet again played
The scratched up record
Of the overheard conversations
Between your family members?
Repeats of "it's just a phase, it's just a phase, it's just a phase"
Playing out through your ear drums
I suppose I understand the everlasting sadness
That seems too hard to cover up
With just your liquid foundation
With just your bs smile
You wish someone could see past it, don't you?
You're waiting for someone to ask what is wrong with you, aren't you?
But in the way where they're actually concerned about your well being
Instead of being freaked out by it
You just want someone to hold you
And tell you everything is going to be okay, right?
I mean this with all sincerity
You need to stop being this pathetic
Because it might just run in the family
I can see your child self locked up
Gripping the bars
Shaking them and screaming
For someone to set them free
I know you want to be happy
This path you're taking though..
Full of smoke, drinks, and attempts that no one knew about
Is not the way to go
This isn't the way we have to go
This talk was so long overdue
And the biggest message to you
Is that we can be better than this.
Why have we failed to realize it?
i have experienced writer’s block before,
but not like this...
not when i’ve forgotten the meaning of every word that comes to mind,
every word except one: you
you are by far the worst thing that has happened to my poetry
because, before, i could write about my sadness,
about how the world was closing in on me,
but you stood in the way of that
almost as if you were saying 'no, darling, let me show you something new.'
so you showed me the world in a new light,
and suddenly it felt so big i did not know how to deal with it;
could not find the words to describe what i was feeling,
could not find the words.
in the weeks that we have been together,
my sadness became dormant.
sometimes it still erupts out of me;
the hot lava of my tears washing away any hope i had had left.
but even in those moments
you have been there,
there for the repercussion,
for the mending,
there for me.
Now all i can write about is you, you are the only thing that makes sense in my lines,
like, you belong there, you were made to be my inspiration.
around you, my verses and phrases dance, tangle themselves in your eyelashes,
curl themselves around your legs
a beautiful revelation of purpose.
until it doesn’t make sense anymore
and then i am stuck again
stuck in the spaces between the words that adore you so
but to them, i am a prisoner, forbidden from venturing out into the world of rhyme schemes and verses
this is what has been happening to me since you’ve left
and let me tell you,
the day you left i was
preparing myself for a novel
filled with wit and conversation
but now i can hardly find a single line
that doesn’t call out your name
how could i ever forget about the way you hurt me
if you are all my writing remembers?