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Brown Girl Lifted

because life @ the intersection is personal & political

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being human

This year I resolve not to confuse the piece for a whole

to recognize the peace in the hole (give me peace in my soul) 

the cavity: negative space left in absence of friends near to heart but far from body

never-quite-replaced by impostors close to body but never meeting eyes

This year I won’t want for someone else to understand me

This year I resolve to protect my best friend, even when she is me

even when her words hit too close to home

lambasting me with lashings

spinning webs of weaponized thought

jumping the myelin bridges in my unguarded still-naive

not-yet-fully-developed

young adult mind

even when my flaws are swallowing me whole

impulses shorting — crack! 

unencumbered by

inhibitions lubed with alcohol

sometimes it’s not safe here

with a heart in swollen pieces

because I cut it up

for reasons I haven’t lived my way to the bottom of yet

This year I will write more and say less

I will want for grey matter — not for grey friendships

I want for grey hairs — but for now I’ll settle for flecks of blonde (because I’m fun)

& I’ll stop spelling gray the British way just because I think it’s classy

Nothing is inherently classy except a good book and a healthy respect for all living kind

This year I won’t confuse a piece for the whole

I think maybe humanity shares a collective soul

else, why would I find something

I want to keep in every person I meet

Even if my mind is trained to categorize and to stereotype

in spite of view

I stubbornly fight for the right to match and to defy

others’ projections/definitions/rising inflections and shady looks

remembering we all have a right to identify ourselves however we choose

& I have that right, too.

There is a part of every person that shines like the sun

There is a part of every person that wants to run

I want to run

to the future

& find my own light

& give only the best pieces of myself to the world

even as the worst parts poke out of the collective soul, thriving like weeds,

surviving generations like those light sleepers and those heavy dreamers — never wiped out by random chance

This year…

I’ll stop asking for permission to be my complete self

I’ll stop taking silence for rejection & I’ll finally buy a bookshelf

I’ll take up space and live my life

converting my potential into kinetics into weaponized love–into light.

I’ll give less of myself to each person, and more of myself to the world

This year I won’t confuse the piece for the whole

This year, I’ll create peace in my soul

-Aarushi Agni

For Colored Girls

-Nyesha Brown

When everything hurts, write a poem.

the-tempest-1886-1

Too often, people work hard to hide
That they are ever broken
Or unhappy or flawed
Or anything but perfectly happy.
Never anything but perfectly happy.
“Don’t dare be anything but perfectly happy.”
I don’t understand the allure of the placid.
What is a pulse without a tempest?
What is a laugh without a roar?
When I meet people, I want to love them.
I want to know the come and go of their
Happiness and full
I want to know the cracked porcelain
Wrists
The glued-together, burned clay fingertips
The knees that never melted before God.
Everyone is broken in different places
Everyone has parts of them they don’t know exist.
We forget what our bodies are made of until pain tugs at our composition
Don’t know kidney until it hurts
Don’t know bone until it shatters
Don’t know parts of ourselves until they are torn and tested.
We are all torn and tested in different parts.
I want to learn all of me.
And tracing my fingers on spiked wire spines
Teaches me more than caressing my own darkness
So I have learned to love
like peeling back the thin skin of an apricot
Like letting the juice run down alongside my veins
Like seeing the shattered glass
The ebb of the wave
The crash of the tide
Like everything.
All of it.
Beautiful,
In its singular composition.

Continue reading “When everything hurts, write a poem.”

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