freedom

on to the next

the next page

the next stage

it’s like having your hair in braids for months,

it’s constrained but protected, and you can feel the new growth coming in

those lil baby curls

you play with them when you’re stressed, 

daydreaming about how big your fro will be when you can finally free yourself from those chains

braids

sometimes you need help to get through them all, sometimes you have to cut them short before you start

sometimes, sometimes, everything’s so conditional

but freedom is delicious

a process, but delightful

the braids come out, but there’s still the gunk that built up at the roots

the chains come off, but there’s still the dents that dug in at your wrists

you need clarity

look at reality

look at it, really

the gunk

the dents

this is where you were before you were free

(completely unrelated, but I am so happy)

(I never write happy poems)

don’t let it scare you

you’re free now

so clarify, wash the gunk out of your roots

massage your wrists, smooth the dents out

then play with your curls

yes, use your hands

your freedom

you’re at the next stage

on the next page

on to the next

4.1.19

Continue reading “freedom”

my little black foot

my black foot

my little black foot

I think it’s too small for my body

I’m pretty tall, and it’s pretty small

I’m pretty

 

my little black foot

being black is so weird

so little that does so much

I didn’t even ask to be black

I’m not complaining, not right now, but it’s so little

 

my little black foot

blacker in some places than others

and my sole is so light

my soul

 

my little black foot

with its badly painted toes

I hate when my toes aren’t perfect, when I’m not perfect

the color is cute, a shimmering pink layered over mauve, or taupe, I’m not sure

really really cute, just kinda smudged from my socks

I love my socks

socks suck though, just look at the toes on my little black foot

 

little foot, little toes

even my nose is little

my hands too

I’m just taking inventory at this point, all because of my little black foot

 

with the Birkenstock tan

I told myself I’d never get Birks

but then I did, and now I love them

they’re comfy, and they look really cute on my little black foot

especially when my toes are perfect

but even when they’re not, the Birks are still comfy

and for that I’m thankful

for my Birks

and for my little black foot

 

6.17.19, 8:17pm

fools, Gold

“I can show you the world”

and that’s about it, hun

 

show me everything, your favorite sunset spots, the highest mountaintops, show me

bring me to the beaches in Cancun, heck, bring me to the moon

but you can’t bring it to me

you can’t give it to me

it’s not yours to give, and I know Whose it is, so don’t try to waste my time

 

your efforts are cute, but they’ll never match up to His

this all sounds harsh, but I don’t blame you, I just don’t need you

not saying I want to be alone, but even on my own, I have it all, because I always have Him

and if you don’t, if you can’t get that, then I really don’t need you

 

don’t need you trying to convince me you can give me better than I already have

don’t need you trying to make me forget just how shining, shimmering, splendid my life already is, just so you can buff it up a little

I promise, it won’t end well

 

I don’t need you, you’ve shown me that

so let me know when you’re ready to meet me where I’m at

 

5.26.19

am I a rapper???

So a few months ago, I did a Thing. I’d done it once before, but on a much smaller scale.

Well, let me rewind a bit. A few months and a year ago, I performed at a fashion show on campus, and that’s how we ended up with this post. It was a fun time, with my pre-written poems and weeks of practice, but this year, I wanted to mix it up. Well, I didn’t want to, but I felt like I needed to. A good performer keeps the people on their toes right? That’s why I did the Thing. Continue reading “am I a rapper???”

re-thinking out loud

“this piece is inspired by a conversation that I had with my dear friend Mordecai

I’m probably picking and choosing and paraphrasing for poetic purposes, but he said that I make more sense when I’m on stage than I do in my day to day life

in my defense, I was very tired, so most of my mind was on the nap I was gonna take the next day

but what he said got me thinking

and I already think a lot

I seem really calm and collected right now because I sat down at 1:54 am monday morning (which should count as sunday night, in my opinion), and dumped a bunch of my thoughts on paper where I could see them

me being on stage is just me re-thinking out loud, which is why it used to be so scary

around this time last year, I was up here for the first time, re-thinking my thoughts

one of the pieces I performed was about what I do when my thoughts get too loud, which is poet for “what I do when I have a panic attack”

and now I’m back, feeling calm and collected because I have my thoughts written out

but I don’t really know what this piece is about Continue reading “re-thinking out loud”

before I turn 20

IMG_2781.jpeg

The irony isn’t lost on me that I’d written the second piece on the 19th day of March.

19.

A prime number with little room for flexibility. The only way to multiply and get 19 is to do nothing. In the world of arithmetic, multiplying by 1 does nothing.

Tragic, right?

But if you break 19 apart into 1 and 9, the possibilities are endless increase in number.

1 + 9 = 10

9 is a perfect square, so you could break it down into little 3s.

Or, you could build it up into a big 81, and 8 + 1 = 9, plus the 1 you had leftover, that’s 10 again!

Satisfying, right?

It all depends on how you look at it.

I’ve had to look long and hard at my 19.

Continue reading “before I turn 20”

3.19.18

i got 19 in my pocket

19 points on my orgo prelim

19 points on my organic chemistry preliminary exam that i stuffed in my pocket as soon as i got it because i told myself i’d just think about it later, told myself i’d probably read it upside down or backwards or something, i’d just think about it later

i got 19 in my pocket

19 dollars

19 dollars from the 20 that i broke because food is the best way to deal with heartbreak, to heal heartbreak, and that kripsy kreme donut was looking enticing and revitalizing so i gave a dollar to theta apple pie to help fundraise their trip to uganda but now i’m scouring the ground to look for some change or maybe even another dollar because i needed that 20 to be whole

i’m scouring the ground as i walk to student agencies because i have a ticket to buy, i need a ticket to go home and i had exact change but now i don’t so i’m scouring and i’m stressing and i’m missing the sunset that would make me feel whole

i got 19 in my pocket

19 years

19 years that i’ve been on this earth, or is it 20? you know that year when you’re not really here, “my baby’s 7 months and 3.5 days old”, okay great but what does that mean? i can’t do mental math anymore, 1 + 1 always equals window but that’s all i have left

besides these 19 years in my pocket

19 years, yet i feel infinite

i feel never ending

i feel so immense and so full of depth that i cannot be contained, i cannot be constrained, i feel too free

i feel like my 19 years are full, i feel like i won’t find what i need to make 19 20

19 years means i can’t tweak my favorite love song anymore, “you are 19 going on 20” doesn’t match the melody that i wanted to sing to, that i wanted sung to me

i got 19 in my pocket

19 questions

19 thoughts that end in “i don’t know”

19 answers i don’t have

19 maps i can’t follow

19 feels so incomplete

there was so much i wanted to do at 19, by 19

was it even worth getting this far? how many sunsets did i stop to see?

it feels like i felt my 19 scouring and stressing and missing too much to make 19 20

3.19.18

4.28.18

out of every ten poems I write, there are two, max three, that I like

and I’ve been writing for a long time

 

I’m too nostalgic to delete Wattpad, so I have a poem from 2013 titled “Do Not Erase”

it starts off, “do not efface your face with eyeliner and mascara, foundation and blush”

I haven’t watched enough YouTube videos to know what shade of blush goes with my skin tone, but this NYX mascara I took from my mom is AMAZING

 

and then there’s another poem from 2016, it’s a sonnet actually

I wrote it for my English class

it goes,

“to love, or not to love – that is the question

whether ’tis better better to fall in love or to fall apart, this i do not know

for they are one and the same”

 

it’s actually a really good piece, so i’m glad I still have it

cuz there are years of prose and tears that I’ll never get back

 

out of the seven poems I don’t like, there are four I just can’t read

because they hurt

that’s why I started writing, because I’d hurt

I’d get hurt and I wouldn’t know what to do or who to talk to, so I’d sit in my room and I’d write

you should’ve seen me in 2011, ranting to my nonexistent confidant about all the things that couldn’t possibly be happening

but they were

and I only know this because I still have that Hello Kitty notebook

I’m too nostalgic, so I haven’t burned it

 

I always knew not to play with matches, but it was a warm form of catharsis to watch tearstained papers turn into ash

I’d flush away the evidence and tell myself that it was finished, but deep down I knew that wasn’t right

I don’t use periods when I write

the waves of words wax and wane where they will, but there’s no shore to contain them

they need to squeeze through cracks and soar over waterfalls, so now, when the tears fall, I let them

when the words come, I write them

 

still, most of my poems seem to end with a silent “to be continued”

there are three that I like, four that hurt, and two that I haven’t finished

I just can’t

these pages are a testament to the fact that sometimes, I struggle to see what I see

sometimes I can’t make sense of it

 

some days I’ll sit and I’ll write til I hit blocks I can’t build with

it’s like having a puzzle you can’t finish because you decided to burn half of the pieces

I can’t even blame her, the old me

she’s a part of my poetry

 

out of those ten poems, the estimated ratio to quantify what I’ve produced, the one that remains is who I am

who I was

and who I will be

in every piece, there is me

every time I create, I’m mimicking the Creator, trying to make sense of the creation that I am

trying to find His satisfaction, trying to find appreciation

no matter how many pieces I write, songs I sing, prelims I pass (or fail)

no matter what I do, none of that matters if I can’t find the peace in who I AM says I am

4.28.18

a quartet, and a question

​​

 

​ Last night, I performed my poetry for the first time. I’ve actually been writing for over five years, but my first true poem was about Cheerios (I’m easily inspired; don’t judge). Still, if you would’ve told me that I’d end up on stage, not singing with my a cappella group, not receiving an award, but reciting my poetry? I would’ve laughed in your face. For at least five years, that’s exactly what I did. I’d push back at every nudge towards a platform, nervous and nauseous at the thought of feeling so exposed. But growth is a never-ending journey, and last night, a new bud bloomed on the tree of my life.

Continue reading “a quartet, and a question”