With Eager Nails 

I pick apart pieces of me until I fall apart.  

Excavating flaws 

Sleeping in filth 

Wrapped in sheets of shattered guilt

Scabs begging to heal

But with eager nails I pick and peel

Dig and peel

Dig and kneel to worship everything else

Except for myself. 
I pray to gods made of the dirt that I lay in

And I speak their many tongues

I taste and I bite

I chew your words but refuse to swallow your pride

– selfish me I am always at the beginning of sentences even though I am too busy writing scripts for everyone 
You broke me before I broke me and 

I wish I did the breaking first because then

I could’ve swallowed the truth in your words. 

But instead, I chewed on them with wrath. 

I spit them out instead and watched them waste away in a deep void of resentment. 

You were once a new wound.

Brand new but you hurt me like a bitch 

And tried to heal too quick

A wound that I was never familiar with, never had closure with. 

So excuse me while I kneel again  

And peel and pick 

With eager nails. 



As I lay here wrapped in the comfort of my sheets

I ask myself:

How is it so easy to forgive everyone else, and why is it such a challenge to forgive myself?

But then I remember that these thoughts themselves…are in essence, the beginning of my release.  

words from the angry black girl 

My voice was a tsunami wave 

Slowly approaching, but when it crashed, it came fast

Furious and ready to drown out the sound of you swimming 

My voice

Has been found and now I must learn to control it. 

This tongue

Is sharp. It will slice the soles of your feet like decaying shells buried beneath the sand. 

But never forget how warm and welcoming this sand felt, before you dug too deep and hurt yourself. 

My saliva is heavily salted with pain from my past

And I admit that I sometimes let it consume me

Sometimes people mistake me for the Black Sea,

shriveling the life out of everything that dives into me. 

and I admit, my words can be deadly

But I promise, I am not deadly. 

Be patient with me. 

I am learning to navigate my waters, 

I have yet to allow you to explore the depths of me. 

Be kind to me. Don’t provoke me. 

Stop trying to sail me with your inexperienced raft-like mind 

because you will need a ship to get out of my head alive so…

Love me. 

at every stage, at the calm before the looming crests of my waves, love me. 

Because this voice 

My voice

Is the only thing that keeps me safe.   


That night, India Arie became my therapist.

I searched every lyric for relatability and desperately clung to her soft serenades,

hoping that the warmth of her vocals would allow me to defrost without much pain.

But I found myself crying instead,

as I melted and felt myself becoming malleable again.


Bask in your pain.

Let it seep through your tear-stained sheets and

let your sobs be so deep

and true that your toes curl up

and you clench your teeth.

Face the mirror.

Look at you.

And cry until your eyes are dry.

Not until you dig up the weeds of the past collecting in your spine

will you be able to grow tall

and blossom past the sky.