Almost Poetic

Moving On

This sounds a lot like moving on:

You will talk to a man who will make the memories less brutal on your heart. Pretty soon you’ll be able to think about love without wanting to set yourself on fire.

The nights won’t be so violent anymore, and in time, the nightmares will be just another conversation at the dinner table. Speaking of, you will be brave enough to be around people without feeling your heart shake from violent thrusts of emotion.

You miss him, but you no longer write about him anymore. No longer think about him as much. Your tears have become strangers again, and you don’t know what’s worse: forgetting the bad times, or not remembering the good ones. 

Say What?

So many things

I have been so many things before I became what I am now. So many things have happened before I found myself here. So many things have brought me to this place. I’d love to promise that I’ll stay, but so many things have made me leave before.

I am a culmination of all the experiences I leave behind, each step towards growth, marked by everything I have been before change came along. I am all the loud and the quiet moments, every word I’ve spoken and every silence that has captivated me. I am a sum of all the decisions I didn’t take, out of fear or something else. Continue reading “So many things”

Burn After Reading

Dear you

I have taught my heart many things in this life: to be still, to heal and to let go. What I have failed to do is teach it how to love. Here I am, standing on the verge of fear and uncertainty, looking at you and hearing echoes of a future, and it is my heart that finds itself at a loss. I learned pain and losing too young, love had not been familiar then, and so I clung to the pain because it was always there. When I met you, I wasn’t looking for anything other than a way to prolong the numbness my heart had become accustomed to. Even in our chats, I communicated detachment and told you with every word not to stay. Truth is, I was afraid you would refuse if I asked you to stay. I want you to stay.  Continue reading “Dear you”

Been there, Read that

Assata Shakur – An Autobiography

Just like Bell Hooks’ book on class, Assata Shakur’s autobiography was an eye opener, to the intricacies of racism, what it means to love ourselves, as individuals and as a collective. We are going to tell these black stories, disrupting the narrative and letting our children know that we were here, we felt, we loved and we died. And all of it is valid. Struggle sometimes blinds us to the moments of joy inbetween. Shakur’s pregnancy was that light in the dim circumstances thrust on her, how she fought to hold on to it, a resilience many of us are all too familiar with. We feel it in the spaces we find ourselves in, where they try to squeeze every bit of blackness out of us. Save for our skin, which holds on and serves as a reminder to us of our pact with the universe. How we are not easily conquered, how these stories will outlive us and echo affirmation to the generations that will come after us and refuse to bend. Her pain, her strength, her refusal to overlook the happy moments is my story. Of what it means to find yourself in a place so violent to your black body, constantly squeezing out metaphors as a way of raging against erasure.

“Only a fool lets somebody else tell him who his enemy is.” Continue reading “Assata Shakur – An Autobiography”

Almost Poetic

The meaning of a fairytale

There are no fairytale endings for girls like us. Only whispered apologies to broken hearts in the middle of the night. Only places inside of us men use as pit stops on the way to something better. Never staying, never saying why. You will have to rain moving on down your spine. Teach your lungs to breathe without heaving out metaphors. You will have to apologize to your bones for wanting more.  Continue reading “The meaning of a fairytale”

Almost Poetic

I paint with words

I paint with words 

Sometimes the pain is a man, a limping man, not because his legs aren’t strong enough, it’s his heart that has walked a thousand miles, only to be met with nothing that wants it

This is the man in my painting, who hears the word promise and his heart translates it to shattering glass, “Please, make it stop. Tell them I’ve heard of promise before, waited with baited breath, but he’s the second coming, the never coming. All I hear is his name as a scream, a broken prayer, an abandoned temple heavy on my chest.” Continue reading “I paint with words”

Say What?

Hair salons as therapy sessions

My birds and bees talk came in the form of hair salon gossip. My mother, Christian woman that she is, never spoke to me about sex. Her advice on the subject consisted of this one instruction, “Don’t sleep with boys, you’ll fall pregnant, and I’ll kick you out of my house.” So sex was pretty much a no go topic at home, but the curiosity that comes with growing up would not let me go through life ignoring this big part of it. I was starting to see boys as more than just people, and pretty soon, if the talks doing the rounds were anything to go by, I’d start having sex with the person I called my boyfriend.

Going to the salon, as much as I hated getting my hair relaxed, was to be my saving grace. This place proved to be a place of learning as much as it was about making me look good. I hated the effects of the relaxer on my hair and how the hairdresser never missed a chance to burn me with the hairdryer, but the stories of these women, the sisterhood forged through the misty air of hair dryers and the smell of hair food is what made the experience worthwhile.

Continue reading “Hair salons as therapy sessions”