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.   

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Untitled

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.

Discomfort

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.

Nihilism

I feel like dying.

I have always felt a death shroud clouding my thoughts, a mist so powerful that not even the love of my life could make it dissipate

A fog that clings to my lungs like a fish hook, digging into my flesh and pulling apart every bloody ounce of meaning I had left

I feel like dying.

And maybe I’m just trippin, as a black girl should

When everything seems to be crumbling around me, in this internal state of oppression I call my hood

Where suicidal thoughts ring like gunshots

Where my body is a fatherless household lacking God and my daddy

Where my mind and my heart fight a constant turf war

And maybe I’m just trippin, as a woman should

Because my emotions have been carelessly labeled and tossed into this generic idea of black womanhood

Attitude

Bitterness

Anger

Strength

Resilience

Melanin

But nobody wants to talk about how bad you can burn in the sun, no matter how fucking black your skin is

I’m tired of hearing “Girl, you just need some good dick” or “Just pray about it” and “This too shall pass”

No I don’t.  No, I won’t.  And no, it will never pass.

I feel like dying.

Dead ass.

The world is a miserable gray now and everything moves too fast.

I am running and gasping for air

Chasing happiness, love, inner peace

Yet everyone and everything seems to be sprinting further and further away from me

 

But maybe I’m just trippin, like all these black girls be.

 

9 PM

I sat up in bed and closed my eyes, reaching, feeling, clawing for a presence I knew wasn’t there

I didn’t expect it to be there. I knew that I had deserted it, that I had failed

The emptiness shook me so that I could not shed a tear

So I just sat there waiting, emotionless, an empty vessel

And in that moment I knew what I had to do

I opened my mouth, ready to beg and cry, to explain myself and make up another lie

But instead I whispered:

“God…please help me find myself, so that I can find you.”

The Suburbs Pt.2 – Mirrors

Making love to her is complicated.

Her almond brown eyes are covered with a teary glaze whenever she looks at me, as if she’s on the verge of sobbing.  She never looks at me long enough to shed any tears though.

Her soft and supple sienna skin melts into the tips of my fingers whenever I caress her left cheek marked with fading splotches of mahogany where her acne scars used to be.   I press myself against her until I can smell the faint scent of Shea butter radiating from her pores.  She likes when I do that.  I run my fingers down her arms,  tracing stretch marks and self-harm scars.  She doesn’t like that.  I do it anyway, just to remind her of where we came from and how much I love her.  Every single thing about her.

I apologize for hurting her, I never meant to.  I told her that if I didn’t truly love her, she would be dead by now.  I know it sounds self-righteous but it’s true.

I have an obsession with her flaws.  The flesh on her belly ripples in waves whenever she is in motion. Sometimes I imagine myself as a sailing ship lost at sea and her tides bring me back to shore every time I feel lonely.

I love tangling my hands into her midnight woolen curls.  Pulling on a coil of frizz, I watch it spring back into place, spiraling and dancing to the rhythm of her musical moans.

I wonder if the neighbors can hear us.  I wonder if they’ve realized they’re living among pure art.  I wonder if they know they’ve experienced a free exhibition of our love.  I wonder if they will regret how badly they talk about our lawn, or their sinister jokes  about how she never comes out of the house. I wonder if they’ll just consider our noise a disturbance, like they always do.

I love the thickness of her thighs, the friction between them, and the way her gentle flesh suffocates me as she sleeps, making my sleepless nights almost bearable.  She hates them though.  She’s always doing weird exercises in awkward positions to “get rid of her cellulite”, but I keep telling her that her size is just right…for me at least.  Why does anyone else matter if I love her already the way she is?   I keep asking her if she’s pursuing someone else, if she’s moved on.  She keeps denying it.  Only me, she says with a mouthful of carrots.  It’s only me, she only loves me.   I am her everything.  She just wants to be the best she can be so –

– yeah right.

I see the way she smiles and hums around the house, pretending to clean.  When I mention their name she looks away, afraid that I’ll be able to read between lines that don’t even exist (because she is an open book that only I have written in).  Someone else has been flipping the pages and now we’re back to chapter one and once again she’s trying to prep herself forsomething  that doesn’t even exist.  What the fuck.

No matter how fiercely, consistently, and passionately I make love to her, I will never be enough.  She will always need validation and inspiration from someone else, something else.  She is an empty vessel and I’ve been pouring pieces of myself into an abyss.

Useless.

 

The Suburbs Pt.1

I live in the suburbs and all of the houses look exactly the same, except for mine.  My home was the first one built in this complex.  It’s not as modern.  It’s pretty old and a bit…abandoned-looking.  When we first moved in, the outside was painted a sky blue but now it exhibits a depressed grayish hue as it squats on the overgrown forest that was once our lawn.  It really sucks, walking from the driveway to the front door.  You can’t even see the concrete anymore, the grass and weeds have sprouted to knee-length.  By the time I get to my door I’m frantically scratching at my legs which have been devoured by mosquitoes and violated by roaming crickets.  Sometimes the gutter gets unhinged from the roof when it storms, and I swear all you can hear at night is the cheap plastic clawing against the window.  God it’s so annoying.  I never get any sleep.  She sleeps just fine with it though.

I get used to seeing the gutter just hanging there now. So used to it in fact, that I don’t even try to fix it anymore.  I just let it sort of…hang there and drip dirty rain water.  When I come home from work, that’s the first thing I see.  The fucking gutter.  Again.  Why should I fix it if it just keeps falling off every time it rains?  Plus, it’s old and I’m moving out of here again…very soon.  I couldn’t care less.

She gets mad at me a lot when I leave.  I hate to see her so upset but I just can’t stand living in that damn house.  Living with her.  The paint is chipping off of the walls, the ceiling leaks salt water, the wooden floors are almost unrecognizable because of termites, and there are so many pests!  Rats, mice, roaches, water beetles, bedbugs.  The bedbugs are the worst.  They keep me awake at night, biting at the flesh on my ankles.  Every morning we wake up with fresh blood stains on our sheets.  She doesn’t wash them.  Trust me, I have tried washing them myself before but she screamed at me and had a bad nervous breakdown.  It was scary.  She was throwing shit around and smashing plates…she even pulled a razor blade out on me.  All of the neighbors came knocking to see if we were okay and they almost called the police, but I begged them to just give us some space. I didn’t want to go through that again.  So I just leave the sheets alone now.

She tells me that whenever I leave, the sheets still smell like me and that’s why she won’t wash them.  She says, I’m the only one who helps her to dream at night.  So the scent is just a temporary replacement while I’m gone.  She tells me she likes to wrap herself up in them, blood stains and all, and inhale me until she’s fast asleep.  Then she cries and, by habit, I gently kiss away her tears.  They taste bitter.

I find it funny.  How poetic she can make her paranoia sound.  She speaks in sonnets whenever I’m around and scribbles in her journal all damn day.  She sends me text messages in haiku’s and always writes some stupid inspirational quote on the bathroom mirror every morning.  I adored it at first, because I thought she was really changing.  But now I know it’s just a facade, and she just loves giving advice she’ll never take.

It’s annoying.  Because I know she writes about me and she thinks her poems will make me stay.

She thinks this is temporary.  But I’m not coming back this time.

I don’t feel guilty anymore when she cries about how much she’s attached to me.  She’s just manipulating me again, making me think she’ll finally let me fix up the house when we both know damn well it’s gonna stay in the same condition I left it in.  Plus, seeing blood on the sheets every morning makes me gag.  I will never understand why she tries so desperately to normalize this insane way of living.

Fuck this place, fuck her, I’m leaving.