What is the true determinant of joy?

What is the true determinant of joy?

What is the true determinant of joy? 

Is it never having to argue my existence, ever-safe in the knowledge that I am human, worthy and deserving of all good things? I could save my words for wonderful things; shared secrets between sisters. songs in languages I don’t know. cries of unbridled pleasure. I would be free of sorrys, maybes and ifs, my tongue becoming a silver, pointed thing capable only of commands and reciprocated I love yous

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City Emotions

City Emotions

Sorrow
The day got rough seemingly out of nowhere. Tension is creeping at the edges of my brain, kneading on my skull like a desperate kitty. Needing affection like I need comfort now that the wind is the only other sound beyond my clicking on a keyboard. It whirls about recklessly, slinging heavy tree branches and litter in its direction before flinging them back to beyond. 

Freedom
I see brick. Red and brown switching abruptly to dark black that reminds me of a rocky shore, then bright blue that is supposed to tell stories of joy and accomplishment — but really it’s giving displacement. It’s so disjointed, these pieces of the past clashing up against an alternate reality where freedom is a buzzword and a people lose their homes and dignity to alternate living. 

Love
I am wearing the day right in the center of my face where the tears tickle and sting before breaking the floodgates. I am heavy with fatigue borne of what, I cannot find in the space to which I am confined. I am here. I am steady in my self. breathing. living. honoring. Loving in the middle of the sheets and out in the open. In honest words not forgotten in heated moments. Out of sorrow, through pain, and into the waters.

Retribution
Now I hear the birds. I see the darkening clouds welcoming rain, soft at first then harsh and bloody. When the streets are bathed and empty, I will perhaps feel better and venture outside my front door. With a mask covering my mouth, given me a sense of anonymity I have craved for a decade at least. To be seen is remarkable when one is truly seen. Objects, for what they’re really worth, feel nothing from your greedy, piercing gazes.

An ode to Beyoncé and Lemonade (2016)

The Spent Woman

The Spent Woman

Wistless men frighten me — ambitious, powerful men with the world at their fingertips and my chest in their palms. They leave me to ache with longing, and my skin turns a sick, green pallor. These men and their dreams cut me so deeply that I am left frequently bleeding fear onto my fresh, white linen. 


That I wore for you. 


To be as sanctimonious as I should. 


I have wrapped the stained cloth gingerly around my shoulders hoping to shield you from their stoutly–unwomanly–aggressive existence. Lest you find me out, begin to understand how ill-equipped I really am to be the woman I should. The woman that stands by you, understands you, bolsters your dreams with her fists, her shoulders, her back. 


I am little more than cracked bones shifting beneath leathery, scratched skin. This body is not what it should be — it is straight-forward and a little dull, in my opinion. It is weathered, littered with pockmarks and itchy, inflamed eczema. Childhood has beaten my muscles into reflexive flinching, little spasms of my truth fighting to spill from inside. To be, finally, once and for all, seen. 


But I do not allow that. Perfect women do not spill over or run dry. 
I am not the river you will drown in. I could never entice you with curves or smooth, rounded edges. Mine are brutally sharp, tearing long gashes in the fabric I keep shrouded over my person. I lose sight of them twice a day and barge into a loved one with such intensity it usually ends in a bloodbath of swallowed feelings and double-edged words. 


Women like me do not stand by men like you — who intend to stamp their golden feet on hilltops and mountain summits. I will watch you drift from me, fall into the open arms of a better woman, the spent woman.

Som days

Som days

Som days I look like my dad… distant, and very selective about my outward show of emotions. Other days, I seem to hold my mother more. Codependent and relentlessly empathetic.

I hope to soon look like myself. A self actualized version of the nappy headed girl who could not find a place to fit herself except in the folds of her own hands.

Monologue 1

Monologue 1

I.
Damn.

I left for too long… kept retreating to the bright white space in my head: A nonstop
Pulsing
Raging
Argument between what I know

And what I don’t…

I spent too long in that space / holed up against the flesh of my loved ones / latching on to the complex veins
In their throats and arms
I smoked
And smoked
And cried

And … the soil in my plant grew dry..
The stalks began to yellow, the color deceitfully bright for the damage it caused

Soon individual leaves fell limp
Oxygen failed to reach the very ends of thirsty petals
All of the flowers had fallen to places I couldn’t see

Fuuuuuuck.

I was gone too fucking long.

This plant, and the one on the other side of my room
Both of them—lost to the fog of my habits.

Where’s the water?

II.
Whew. Shit. Bitch.

If I pour too much, I’ll drown them both—Reggie and Betty I call them.

“They” say when you find a person near starvation or dehydration—you give them small amounts. You gently wet the tongue with a few drops of water.

I step out of the haze for a minute.

Once I lift the blinds, I remember that the sun is warm on my skin.

Here are my few drops of water and kind words to you.

III.
Affirmations for my days look shaky at this point

I step out of the whirlwind and fall back into it
Tripping on shit I certainly didn’t put in my path
Shit I’m struggling to move out of my way

To give them more weight —I speak to these budless, utterly resilient plants

And in the end I ask them for courage
As I take the first step to healing them

I like to use a round, black pair of scissors that I own

— They remind me of me —

To remove that which is dying
And kills everything around it.