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Entry #1

Numerology 

by Simone FruitTree Dewar

The equation is added in such a manner: Day plus month plus year added together to form your life path number! Mine is 3, the creative child. So artistic the number 3 speaks volumes, attracting others as they wonder how to trap this social butterfly that can be hurt because amidst all this light lies hidden, self-doubt and even hate, that traps the 3 in a life cycle filled with wait. Procrastination, which triggers depression, allowing escapism to come in any fashion: drinking, my best pathetic passion! Numbs the pain, even if it's for a short while, I actually own it as mine; because I forget the pain when I'm buzzing... I just wanna stay on cloud nine.


Been a few months since the awareness of the breath has lightened my stress, I've been soul searching, asking longing questions, and actually waiting on my symbols and answers: This is one, went to the store to buy shower curtains and mats, felt a light push to the counter instead, saying alright dunce bat! Here's your challenge... Buy a book, 2 pens and go home, that's where you'll spend, your time. You're here to write! Not to be a sheep or a yes gyal all yuh life!

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Entry #2

TeachER Miss by Patricia Figueroa

I know it’s not our job
To repair
To teach
The science of behind the scenes
But if you only knew
Behind these trees
That blow
cus ‘ toxicity really only ting we know
Like the homework you assigned
Forgot again like last time
Think this is messing with me
Like how you expect me to care
I don’t see people like me winning anywhere
I mean I do
But you ain’t trynna hear it
& Mama aint’t either
Told her I’d be a rapper
She said I just wanna be a woman beater
Like my pops
Like damn
I ain’t even know this man
Why you wanna be a opp
To my dreams
Like how you figga?
This man was a whole feen
I don’t understand
Started claiming our lives matter
But at home, I wished it did too
Like damn my nigga what I did to you
I just got home from school
I know you can’t teach me behind the scenes
And now online
We behind the screens
So it feels like they watching me
Not my annoying ass family
But my anxieties
My fault I forgot
Swear I wrote it down
Least that’s what I thought
Shawty hit me up
And she ain’t a thot
Remind me of them classy ladies like you
Miss, you got a boo?
“Boy don’t make me report you”
My bad is like damn miss
They just aint loyal
I iont mean no disrespect
But I hope the niggas you messing
with aint trynna control you
Cus I be actin crazy
“What chu mean?”
Like Bitch you having my baby
“Why would you want to do that now?”
I mean eff it,
If not now then when?

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Entry #3

Dear Friends

by Omod Cashmere

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Entry #4

From the Hood

Part 3

by Rashan Brown

I’m from the hood
where everyone’s favorite color is either red or blue
I’m from the hood
where the paisley was worth more than you knew

I’m from the hood
where youngins were down for the gang till their eyes bled
I’m from the hood
where SG, B or G was behind why they said what they said

I’m from the hood
where you widen your path when someone’s creeping up behind
I’m from the hood
where you might stop walking and fake “checking the time”

I’m from the hood
where you’re asking to get robbed if you’re caught roaming with two headphones in
I’m from the hood
where reaching back to the block was a humble underrated win

I’m from the hood
where your pockets are bound to get tapped down
I’m from the hood
where them cars pull up on curbs, hop out and back out

I’m from the hood
where there ain’t no one-ons, word
I’m from the hood
where your phone and tv was bound to get cut off, word

I’m from the hood
where everyone assumes you got a moms but not a dad
I’m from the hood
where those assumptions turn true and only a few from the block turn grad

I’m from the hood
where you had three professions to choose from
I’m from the hood
where a prison cell was probably the workplace for one of em’

I’m from the hood
where these kids think anything over 13k a year makes you rich
I’m from the hood
where DV cases really exist but the hood ain’t raise no snitch

I’m from the hood
where kids play cops and robbers and really hide
where we grow up and still get low when 12 drive by
I’m from the hood
where those same kids that dropped out, secure degrees in fire crackers or shots fired

So now we ain’t never seen you round here.. where you from?

Violence and aggression that’s only thing we know
Kev calling my phone saying they just killed Jon Doe

Click... yo Joff.. I know I know I know

Where reaching back to the block was a humble underrated win

Look at us
Wishing it was manslaughter but it’s ..
homicide in the night time besides someone’s daughter
Nah that don’t sound right
So let’s call it what it really is then
that’s cold blooded murder

we shooting off of bumps doe?
In his back doe?
now all my brothers uptown got LLJD in they bio
forreal doe?
Yo bro I’m losing it.

so now we grieving
I got 22 years of schooling, 2 degrees down but was never taught how to properly grieve for a brother
in this world they got us out here free-styling forgive me if I stutter.

my kind just live with this pain, dwelling in the unknown of verbal of expression driving us insane

from the hood
where mental health issues are taboo
because asking for help was never really cool

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Entry #5

Pure Heartache for ❤

by Flying Teigar

Would you love to know what's on the inside
Are you interested about this nature of bread
A  bread of mixed motions applied with love
Oh no !!! my pride never allowed me scream
Though,I have an heartbeat yet I had an heartbreak,my will is strong for i breathe as a freeman 
Depression sugared my anger
An heavy heart of achievement
My tongue went sour and river of tears flowed than my cheeks
This love I found,May it never hit an ice-berg
I forbid being into halves just as the titanic
The pleasure of me loving you is hotter than brimestone
When i get to make love to you
May our existence be for eternity
For with you,Peace reigns in my life.

Entry #6

Real Love

by Urban Poet

Entry #7

LUV Poem

by Kahari the Poet

Entry #8

Shades That The Sun Can’t Create

by Alya Skye

I was dipped into the fountain of beauty. I arose dripping jewels of brown. My sweat contrast nicely against my skin; glowing and radiating a rareness that can be experienced from eyes around. I am a shapeshifter. Presenting you with shades that the sun can’t create. Infinitely wrapped in a coat of endless silk. Bodies love to imitate my melanin, yet hearts still choose to hate. Allow your tongue to salivate, while looking upon a temple you cannot taste. My skin is engraved with narratives from the beginning of time. It tells stories of survival, freedom, power, purpose, and pride. It does not require false tongues to appreciate. For I love enough this skin of mine.

Entry #9

I am What You Made Me

by Natalie Johnson

I am what you made me... Birthed like a baby from a delirious womb, I exited the innocence of love into the reality of you. I was born, choking, on our connection that once gave me life. That resilient connection where genuine innocence took flight amongst the stars. Out where purpose danced in the hem and haw of nothingness. Out where instant redemption cradled bright broken spirits on dimly cracked inlets somewhere in Brooklyn. Way before our detrimental destiny, you poisoned that exquisite connection to me until it coiled. Thick like death yet flexing lively against my neck, I still fought to love you faultlessly. Even when you stole that untainted vision of us from me, and brutally thrusted it out onto the concrete of your actuality, I still fought to love you, faultlessly. It took some time for me to see that you would intentionally led me from the start, taking my heart like a sacrificial lamb for slaughter. Hoping to bleed out onto your alter of self-gratification. And in preparation, you psychosomatically raped me into emotional castration. As your physical penetrations forced my thoughts to swallow the venomous cum excreted out by the assortments of reckless indiscretions. With every inch of your illegitimate injections, you rejected my soul. As my consciousness began to grow, the walls around me began to close and I was forced to claw at your pretenses in order to reveal what lies below, beneath what I knew until the truth... it finally set me free. With your imprint seared onto my throat, you violently gave both to me. This woman. This precarious woman, this strong woman that you were too weak to see, whose birth left you unearthed, broken, and bleeding internally. I am the mosaic piece created from your chaotic debris, left behind from the storms of your infidelity.... yes! You gave birth to me... this woman. This unmoveable woman. This beautiful casing, once filled with debasing notions of love based on the dysfunctional notions of us. And now that trust lays on love’s grave like dust, I am the Phoenix rising out of the fiery rut of pain, heartbreak, and negative self-view. Who I am now is no longer who you knew. I am so much better now that I am independent from you. Now that our connection have been severed through, I no longer need you to feed me lies I no longer need to swim in your sac of alibis and can take joy knowing that you realize that I was never supposed to be the sacrifice. It was always you.

Entry #10

The Magic City

by Spirit Sahriel

Plastic bags blowing in the wind

Pigeons squawking about 

Couples arguing about kids, about rent

Everything makes a sound

 

I just watched someone piss in the street

While yelling loudly at me

Yet fear was the furthest thing from my mind

I’ve already been warned about staring

 

Beggars wake up and beg on time

While I’m late heading to the train 

I pray today’s weather is on my side 

The streets smell funny in the rain 

 

One guy said he’s just tryna come up

I looked at him like me too

Everyone in New York has a hustle

Waiting around just won’t do

 

Living here, I question existence 

Like does it even matter 

I watch people shoot up drugs 

I watch them explode with laughter

 

I witness the wealthy spend like it’s nothing

While others cannot pay their bills 

Street vendors will sell u socks, pills & incense

Is this place even real

 

There’s something so beautiful 

About a place so ugly

I guess cuz no ones fakin it

So if New York won’t give herself to me,

I suppose I’ll be taking it

 

It’s made me tough 

It’s made me bite 

It fills me up with joy and life

 

The kids are old

The old are young

Yet New Yorkers heart beats as one

 

Don’t move to fast

Don’t get caught up

And please don’t take it personal

I cant name a place that will batter you up 

Then show u others worse than you

 

So if you’re gonna make it

I suggest you start

Thickening you’re skin today

the city packs a mean punch

But it’s where the best players play

 

New York New York 

All over the world

Famous for its vibe 

New York New York 

All over the globe 

Famous for its tribe

 

There’s magic here it floats about

Disguised as trash and leaves 

But if you’ve got a hustlers spirit 

You’ll never truly leave

Entry #11

Your Fetish

by Niamey Thomas

Entry #12

Lexii Alijai

(Mourning After)

by Madam Tranese

 It was the “mourning after”
“right now”
my body aches relief 
from obscurities 
we soothe with 
“green tea”
warm bathes 
a quote to carry us through the day 
comforting to know 
how time has lapsed 
and you’re not here 
but I am still “by your side”
sending you positive vibes 
reminiscing on the flow of our course together 
“February 19th”, I remember the exact day like it was yesterday 
chuckling our way to forever 
stomaches twisted in knots until we couldn’t breathe 
“growing pains” is what I like to call them 
adored the process of every second in which we gave to one another 
but flabbergasted by the disheartening feel of you being gone 
“love sucks”
often times
I find myself 
dialing your number, waiting for you to pick  up my call
screaming at my “broken telephone” 
Now it’s dawning on me that you have passed on 
now I’m crying in the middle of the kitchen floor 
because that’s the closest I can get to where my heart resides 
body 6 deep 
but your soul rests in center of our favorite place 
I pray you can still get to “know me better” 
during this phase of life without you
releasing you but never the memories spent 
and as I occupy the space we once shared, 
I remember the love in the air 
touching the heavens above 
desiring the “angels” to tell me it will be alright 
confirming that the “mourning after” is complete 
and the acceptance of change can transcend beyond the circumstances before me

Entry #13

Never Underestimate

by Kahari Young

 

This tool does not belittle 
This tool just lets you be 
Free
Free to express what you have suppressed through the years
This tool is there for you
Even when you need to shed a tear

This tool lifts the greatest weight off your chest
This tool stays up for any topic that you suggest

This tool has prevented many fools from diving off the deep end
This tool grants you a lifetime of independence 
This tool is forever present
No matter if you lose or win

Underneath the sun of being great
This tool does not hate
This tool does not discriminate 

This tool has transformed former underdogs 
Into present top-dogs

This tool brings you and me
A river of peace
Like a man and a woman
In the desert longing 
For a drop of rain in the sky
This tool doesn’t die 
This tool multiplies blessings in disguise

This tool stands the test of time
This tool frees your mind
This tool liberates you
From any toxic environment that you’re in

This tool is mightier than the sword
Behold

This tool is the pen

 

Entry #14

Gathering and Letting Go

by Brendan Praniewicz

Your step dad used to wrap his fingers in your ponytail
and smash your face into the wall.
You watched your mother love every man in New Kensington,
but she had so much trouble loving you.
You beat up boys in parking lots, bobbed your head to R-E-S-P-E-C-T,
and made blood promises with your sisters to never fall in love.
You strolled through Brayburn Heights in your bathing suit
to sunbathe on the muddy banks of the Allegheny.
You married the class clown the day your daddy gave you the last bloody lip,
your husband joined the Army—you’ve been laughing ever since.
You moved to Greece, strutted through the Parthenon in flipflops,
washed your hands in the Jordan, rode camels in Israel.
You moved to Virginia, enrolled at Hampton University,
and became the first in your family to earn a degree.
You moved to Germany, broke holes in the Berlin wall with a sledgehammer,
and waltzed through Neushwanstein castle like you were the queen.
When you moved back to Brayburn, you gave your momma a hug,
it was you who taught her how to love.

The perfume you wore this morning,
still lingers in the hallway
although you are gone.

You never read me bedtime stories.  No, you read me
breakfast stories, lunch stories, midnight snack stories.
When I hit that homerun and ran the bases backward
you were the only one who never made fun of me.
You yelled to me in Greek every night at dinnertime,
ella tho to pethee moo, and my friends laughed at me.
First day in kindergarten, my pencil wrote backward,
you dedicated more time to help with my homework.
You went to piano recitals, and listened to me break
arpeggios more than they were meant to be broken.
When I nearly broke my trumpet, because it never
played the right notes, you taught music takes patience.
Mother, my tongue still tastes like ivory soap, my nose,
still covered in paint chips from pressing it in corners.
I still have essays you made me write, when I did wrong
That all began, “My parents are the worst in the universe.”

The jacket you wore this morning 
is still dotted with rain
although you are gone.

When I was five, you tucked me in, kissed my cheek,
you clicked off the light as you whispered goodnight.
In a nightmare, I saw your blue Ford station wagon,
smash into a tree—your windshield broken—star shapes.
The car, cut open, men shouted over screaming sirens,
they wrestled with your dying heart, but it collapsed.
I clutched your sides of your coffin, rubbed my finger on your cold cheek,
and I yearned for one last fairy tale, just one more story.
I woke to the patter of your feet, racing to my bedroom,
As you sat on my bed, I noticed wrinkles on your face.
Now ephemeral, my dream had stolen ten percent of you.
Every day, I lose another percentage—gray strands in your hair,
the slow haze in your blue eyes, thoughts drifting further.
You gave me everything, and your life now peels away,
With each and every petal falling into my fingers.

The coffee you made this morning,
is still warm,
although you are gone.


You never read me bedtime stories.  You read me
breakfast stories, lunch stories, midnight snack stories.
When I hit that homerun in baseball and ran the bases 
backwards, you were the only one not making fun of me.
You spoke fluent Greek and yelled every night at dinner time,
ella though toe pethee moo.  And my friends laughed at me.
My first day of kindergarten, when I thought my pencil broke
because it wrote backwards, you stayed up late to help with homework.
You went to my piano recitals and watched me break
arpeggios more then than they’re meant to be broken.
When I nearly threw my trumpet out the window, because it never played
the correct notes, you calmed me down…more than once.
Mother, my tongue still tastes like Ivory soap, and my nose,
Covered in paint chips from pressing it in the corner.
I still have all the essays that you made me write when I did 
wrong, that all began with, “I have the worst parents in the world universe.”

The coat that you wore this morning
is still wet
although you are gone.

Entry #15

Missing You!?

I Wonder...

by Tina Williams

Damn! Is it the chill in the air? The massive amount of snow falling ever so gently?? Or the fact that I’m going home to an empty house with no one to greet me with a slow kiss & slap on my ass asking about my work day?!? I thought that I’d gotten through missing you to the point of sadness yet here I am sitting alone as tears race down my cheeks. We(you) finally took the initiative and cut our social media ties & while it caught me off guard I was happy to not be the “1” to turn our “promise” into a lie! I’ve even gone on a date or two praying so diligently that I can focus on him without looking for you..My days are far better and I truly feel & see my progress in healing but today feels like we’ve just made our decision to part which in the heat of frustration seemed the most appealing ...Do I ride this emotional wave while trying not to curse myself out or do I reach out to a distraction just to have visions of us playing in the background?! I keep telling myself that I’m not gonna be closed off to love if it presents itself again, I mean how could I!? I’m the woman who Loves Love, right??? The woman who fell in love with her best friend. No more morning sex, no more quickies in the middle of the night, no more warm embraces or reassuring talks that all will turn out right. Tonight I’m wondering if we made a mistake!? Should we reconcile!? Or are these tears flowing simply because I haven’t CUM in awhile!?

Entry #16

Views

by Anaiisjess

My father is really funny
I mean a really funny guy
Like when I was younger
He'd play games with me
And make me laugh
Every kids father does that quarter behind the ear trick
Such rusty magicians
Mine could disappear
And make it pretty believable too
Because I could have sworn I protected myself the past couple of years
From those guys with sticky fingers
But he's just really good at playing I guess
And I became such a clumsy individual
Focused on making good grades while accidentally leaving my heart unattended
I should have really known better
Because my mother reminds me everyday that she is from New York
And people will steal
That's why we lock our doors and watch our purses when we have company over
She says you always have to watch your back
But I was always too busy watching the clouds
Lying on my back in the middle of every summer
Thinking about the world outside like only an inexperienced girl would
Because now I know there is nothing as good as free dinner and free advice on the inside of the fence
But Adventure would to sneak into my dreams
And I would think about flying away one day like the kids on TV
Someone should have really told me that life is no thing like that on television
But I'm sure they did
And I sure didn't listen
Especially when my mother told me of pirates and thieves disguised as boys my age
Searching for hearts to take and hearts to break
A part of me believed her
But the part of me that still believed my dad was still playing hide and seek really...didn't
And so another sad black American girl story
There's a point in everyone's life where things don't seem too bad
And there's a point when good things are up for suspicion
Because you seemed a little too perfect for a girl who used a fairytale story as her guide to life
After ripping out pages and using the hems of my dresses and tissues for runny mascara
I couldn't help but turn away from something making me so...uncomfortably happy
You dared to make me smile
And I protected the shattered pile in my chest from further damage I mistook the pain  for healing
You dared to make me feel
Feel things I haven't in so long
The part of me that believed my dads still playing magician is disappearing
Along with the part that wants to push you away in fear you'll hurt me like the others

Entry #17

Congratulations.

by Will Allen

4 years

120 Credits later

students Graduated with a bachelors in science

With a minor in suppressing trauma


Ink from my pen was used to write papers

Papers Wrote in red with

Blood leaked from veins

Veins severed by

Coils of a notebook

 

That has my eulogy writin’

Within it

was the

Best piece of work I wrote I

Never got a grade for


12am deadlines

Snatching your nights away

More than morning


Professors knew my grades better than

my name


Learned statistics before

I understood that I was one


History didn’t teach me anything

That oppression didn’t

Already ingrained in my DNA


Worried about my lab class

Before my mental health

 

All I have to show for it

Is a degree

 


I can’t utilize because I lack experience

But how the fuck am I suppose to get experience

If they won’t let me get the job in the field to get

experience with

 

College is bullshit

College is a business

With students as the product

 

That develop

Anxiety and low self worth as a by product

 

They don’t teach you real estate

But your body learns to make home of

Depression


My 1st semester

It disguised itself as happiness

Hid under my smile

While slowly eating away at my

Sense of self


There is no one to turn to

Because as a black boy

Those who teach

Often don’t represent you

 

By my 4th semester


I graduated from student to survivor

Surviving mind fields of judgement

Afraid if i step the wrong way

I’ll be caught an explosion of unwanted opinions

 


They don’t tell you

the 2nd leading

Cause of death for college students is

Suicide, the 3rd is cancer


The 1st is what students

Always seem to see as the answer

Alcohol


As if shots ever saved anybody


In class I was

Dodging bullet point presentations

In the hood

Was dodging bullets penetrating

 

Thought I was prepared for university

Imagine my surprise when I found out

College had more drugs than the streets


Even worse when

I find that

College has more caskets than these streets


My last semester


I Walked across stage

at graduation

In a vessel recognizable

To everyone but myself

 

A soul forever changed

Forever chained

 

Because even with your masters

You still have a master

 

Whether it be to your mind

Or The title that precedes your name


They’ll brand you Dr or professor

And that will all you’ll be

Long as you live


I continue across the stage

Shook hands with the president

Of the school

As he handed me my diploma

 

You would think

the piece of paper

Would help you find yourself

 

You would think

It make up for the years of trauma

 

You would think

It unlocked doors only opened by education


But all I got was a

Congratulations.

Entry #18

Forgotten

by Kristi Sprowl

When black men date the same
I feel uneasy
Like why not me
Feeling like there's a store they all shop in
Buy one get one free, I'm confused
You see I remember my dad telling me
That looks are only skin deep
What's really underneath
Is the soul you keep
Keep dividing us by hair weaves and plastic teeth
No crooked smiles just all discrete
Secrets of the black man are becoming exposed
They forgot to love our natural curves and our widened nose
They distanced themselves into unborn wombs
Waiting to be birthed and see what's real and true
You see I have to convince myself of my beauty everyday
While the black man reminds me that it's fading away
Why even bother to see myself as free
When I'm tainted by immature thoughts of who I could be
Oh black man I miss you and I sing your song
But its being rewritten into a melodic tone
One that can't be recognized anymore
Could we make music together again?
I miss your lyrics
The ones that said brown skinned girl, my skin's just like pearls
Am I still the best thing in the world?
Because you trade me in for anybody else
Anybody you see, that image was never me
I miss your eyes when they would look at me
Your eyes when you look at your mother and see my reflection
Now, your obstruct vision is beneath you
I just want to free you
Love me again, black man

Entry #19

Last Goodbye

by Milán

Before I die I pray to God that my soul he’ll take
and if I feel that heat I’m knocking on heavens gate
My heart heavy
blowing tree to lift a little weight
ain’t never been a saint
but I got some good pussy make a Nigga faint
Like he been sniffin paint
But fuck yo pump fake
and all these constraints
on all my fucking life
I need some fucking light
that’s why I fucking write
and Ima override
all of these lonely nights
my mind exhausted
my heart feel every thing
it ain’t enough pills drug drank to Novocain
tryna fill the voids that be incomplete
on the road to obsolete
so pretty please don’t talk to me
I’m under the influence and it’s hard to see
who I’m trying to be
trying to dodge defeat trying to feel anything but anything
but everything is everything

I’ve got these Niggas wrapped around my finger like a wedding ring
battle in my mind like a Gemini
awake through The night till the morning like a red eye
living in a world I don’t standby
Where if it got color then you know that Glock on standby
a lot of boys in blue is unqualified
and that just intensifies
the chances of another casket occupied its all on tape and his life still ain’t justified !
when that ruling came out
I felt that family when they cried !
tryna imply he was a bad guy
like he didn’t comply
when truth is all he stood by!!
Tryna justify
But ain’t no justifying
A Lil boy just died !!!
All because his phone was miss identified
But really they just terrified
Of all the riches & gold they see in our eyes
System need to be purified
Cus even the black ones switch quick like a Gemini
As black ppl it’s time to stand and unify cus I ain’t got no more tears for a another good by
So this my last goodbye

Entry #20

Illusions of Grandeur

by Monet Black

You can have Jesus, give me the world
Church sanctifies American standards based on pyramids of power
God for white people is a metaphor for safety
All safety is an illusion
the game is runnin (are you still watchin)
the man thinks he knows who you are
cause you are cultivated from his hands
danger approaching, but i cant tell you how to run
black woman a force i never asked to be
a destiny granted to the chosen
a golden opportunity to change the world
survival yields a lifetime of glory
when death is a right of passage
my only living liberty
freedom grants more trauma
peace is a figment of my cultures imagination
my dreams transcend 12 lifetimes
we have done too much for america for you to fathom it
forget the image,
and see i did cast you from my rib at the altar
as tribute to my existence
lack luster protection offered as a consolation prize to blatant disrespect
while God as your savior
pushes the black man as the idol to slide away from
blasphemy be the highest form of ignorance
coming from within to defile man
prove you are more than flesh
more than blood that bleed struggle
as you drip me red in anger, in rage
slavery did a number on us didn't it?
oppression breed syndromes that repeat themselves
cycles my ancestors built homes in
they say when you know better, you do better
I guess we all have visions of grandeur

Entry #21

A Thank You Letter 

to My Ex

by Antonia White

One of the greatest gifts my ex ever gave me was not letting me go.
Was holding onto me tight
When all i wanted was freedom
By telling me NO
This union had no end in sight
When he told me I was his alone
Even when he had a new girlfriend
That I could receive no love or happiness from others
And also none from him
That I owed him my entire being
The glow of my soul
Altho at that time it was just barely a flicker
Like a light bulb in a darkened alley way that feels so uncertain
There were no more red flags
My life was drowning in crimson
Drenched in the blood on his hands, but mine as well
I could look no where and find solace
When finally the last place was inside of myself
The only place that was safe in my mind when I shut him out
That one little corner id never let him touch
The best gift my ex ever gave me was not letting me go
So I could make the decision to leave and
I thought it was appalling he wanted me to be his slave
But by letting me break my own chains he made me stronger than I ever was
In a decade this was the greatest gift I ever got
Because if you had left me in the height of my delusion that you were the smartest man on earth
I might have been a broken woman
I might have felt loss and pain that I had failed you
I might have hurt a hurt that was colder than any winter I'd ever known
And never found my way back to the me thats my home
But you told me no, i wasn't allowed to go
so thank you
Thank you for telling me no, telling me all I had was you and that was the lonliest fact in the world
Thank you for letting me wake up on my own and seeing you for who you truly are
Thank you for telling me I would be nothing
Thank you because it only made my confidence grow
Of all of the things you ever did, thank you for not letting me go.

Entry #22

Drop Dead Gorgeous

by Aiyana (Shaaniel)

I wish my looks could kill
Imagine me: head to toe in the finest clothes
Walking down the street minding my own
Out of nowhere a nigga walks up grabs my ass
And as I turn to cut my eyes at him
His spine shatters like glass

Yeah,
I wish my looks could kill
Sharper than any pocket knife or
Taser I keep on the side
Faster than a bullet and
no trigger for me to pull it
Either
‘Cus I’m so tired of having to put up defenses
for these fools with no senses
It’d be easier to just be relentless
Ya know, take them out and put them down

Body after body added to my count
Without me having to raise a finger
If I’m the bee then my eyes are now the stinger so stop stepping up to me honey
Because you won’t walk away from this hive alive

I wish my looks could kill
So I wouldn’t have to deal with
Telling someone off
Or having to shoo them away
Sometimes when I’ve had a bad day
All I want is a glare so scary
It makes you flatline

Might cause controversy
Or make me a threat but
I would have no regrets
Because it only takes a few seconds
To recognize the disrespect
Of someone approaching you wrong
And I need something that don’t take too long
Because I don’t have time to cuss every single person out
It’s exhausting
So instead of talking
I’ll deliver instant eye-locking
And that will get your breath-stopping
Because you wouldn’t listen when I said get lost
So, please

I don’t want to have to take your life
But you need to learn to start acting right
I wish my looks could kill
So I don’t have to keep preparing for this fight
Trying to get where I’m going and
You slowing me down.
Telling me I should “get to know you”

I’m beyond through
With politely saying no five times
And you still going because
I’m supposedly just playing hard to get
Or I just haven’t met the real you yet
But I don’t want to... so...
Though that’s not an answer you’ll accept
I guess, instead, I’ll give an answer that you won’t forget.

Stop trying to approach me because I won’t be nice anymore
I’ll show you all drop-dead gorgeous like you’ve never seen before

Entry #23

Recognition 

by Kaye Bella

I think i recognize you from a life time or two 

Had to look and think twice but I swear it’s you 

I can see the recognition of my soul through        your eyes.

I can see the attraction as they wondered up my thighs, is it just me or is the familiarity uncanny?  wondering if in the past we fell in love over the tunes of Ella or Sammy because the way our love language is setup got us both ducked up listening to the r&b cuts and there’s just something about the us of it all that has us stuck 

You make my everything better

 like you were the missing key

 I was whole before I met you but somehow you were this missing part of me

And this wholeness is a sign that there is a God because I can’t see how I got through this life with out singing our song and marching to the beat of our drum 

looking at you wanting to have your son knowing you’re the one. 

I wonder about our life all  those many moons ago 

How did we love how did we grow, 

was it as easy to love you then as it is now Never misunderstanding your intentions no Questions on why and how just an Instinctual knowing

 Organic healing and growing you are the soil to my foundation 

My hearts adoration 

You are a piece of my soul

Your love just makes me better 

The calm before the storm 

My hearts home, my shelter

Entry #24

Forever

by Alex Luu

The number “four” or “sì”; 四  is considered the unluckiest number in Chinese
Because it sounds similar to the way we say death (Sǐ;  死)


But, when you first said “I love you”
Even death became a concept I no longer believed in
And love…

Is a concept my mother does not believe in unless money is involved
But we never searched each other’s pockets for safety,
And yet I swear I could feel the future 
When I first held your hands, walking down Main Street,
Four of your fingers wrapping with four of mine
Our palms sealed in prayer locked in 8 places 
The number 8 in Chinese is pronounced “bā” 八

It is considered the luckiest number because it sounds similar to the way we say good fortune 发
So in a way, adding two negatives do create prosperity
And I am sorry
And I am sorry for the times I might’ve griped too hard
Fear of the good luck we might spill if we ever let go.

Truth be told, I was never this superstitious
Until I discovered the map to finding myself was really a circle
And doesn’t the symbol for infinity
Look like wedding rings
Holding hands walking down Main Street
Or the number 8 laying down
Tired of being defined by value.
Baby, aren’t we tired of being defined by value.
Perhaps infinity is just good fortune 
That became something that lasts forever.

And being with you is timeless
Maybe God created love
As the first metaphor for eternity
Our bodies, double entendre
For the everlasting.

See, as a kid, I used to imagine that the heartbeat was caused by an angel
Trying to pound its way out the organ 
And that our dying breath would unlock the cage for it to reach heaven.
Maybe that’s why our first kiss or crap like exercise
Were the closest the angels in me could taste freedom

Maybe that’s why our first argument or the darkest moments of my depression
Were the closest the demons in me could taste freedom

I’m wondering whose heart you broke out of to find me
Sometimes I question if I was worth the escape.
Do you remember the night we both raised our voices like alarm clocks?
We screamed so loud, I swear I heard the hour glass break?
I saw the expiration date fall from your eyes
And I promised that would be the last time I let my ego trip you out of love

So, so I wrote my apology in a thank you note
And called it my first love poem.
And you would smile like a second chance
Like a reminder of how good fortune must be earned

Baby, do you remember the night we both fell asleep on the video call?
I left the computer screen on so bright, it felt like heaven
Your breath sounded like the ambiance of angels humming my welcome home. 
I thought I died in my slumber.
When I woke to find you
Still sleeping with a smile on your face,
I swear to God, you are as beautiful
As the last thing 
I will ever see.

Entry #25

HeartBreak is the Prettiest Poison 💔

by Heather-Rae Barton

Entry #26

Where I'm From

by Poetic Willy

I am from a place where most dreams are made but one out of a million are fulfilled
Where nightmares turn to real life so you know they kill like guns with ammunitions and you
see kids starve because getting food everyday is just another mission
And you see people judge male and females as they go into transitions
I have been travelling so much it’s like my whole life is on a world tour
Like Tupac said “we got money for war, but can’t feed the poor” so need a say more?
Because I have the right to remain silent but being silent is not right I must be heard so may
y’all please take out them headphones and earphones so y’all can hear me out?
I remember waking up every Saturday mornings just so I can watch PBS kids sprout because
that’s where most of my imaginations are from, but as my height continued to grow, my age
continued to increase
My eyes continued to observe that’s when my imaginations started to decrease because I
wasn’t mommy’s innocent little boy anymore and my mind was being attacked with things that
could create sores
You know sores that are opened at the bone making it hard to heal that’s how stubborn we are
One day I heard a voice and it said “Speak for yourself!” but that’s how ignorant they are for
not accepting the truth
They prefer telling lies in a sound proof booth, but you can’t be mad at least they accomplished
a goal of being rappers
I am from a place where most fathers are never a factor, brothers who don’t know their own
brothers, and on every application under “who’s in your household” this is written “me, myself,
and my mother”
That’s why thank God for my parents even though they are not together
I once thought everything would’ve been okay if we lived in the suburbs, but there are always
pros and cons in wishes that we have
Because I wouldn’t be a writer and I wouldn’t be a poet but then gang signs and slangs I
wouldn’t even know it
*snaps* I wouldn’t even know them
Sorry, it’s how I speak
Look at me funny but you see autocorrect doesn’t come easily to me
I was born in a place where Lion King relates to and it’s hot throughout the year but I am from a
place where Wu Tang came out of and it’s cold throughout the winter
I wasn’t used to the weather until it started to give me splinters
I was being judged because what I ate was never ever their dinner
They labelled me as an L but what they never knew is that my name started with a W and it
stands for winner
I’m from a place where it’s called hood but nobody ever acts neighborly
Where new aunts, uncles, and cousins are coming to exist but you never knew they were your
family
New jails need to be build that’s why the government cuts down our family trees
Does anyone ever feel sorry for us youngings that are witnessing this catastrophe?
I’m just try’na grow up to be a legend, Johnny Appleseed, but where I’m from if your skills
aren’t qualified you’re just another slice of cheese
Your environment is how you make it; negativity is how you take
So may I ask?
Where are you from?

Entry #27

Unravel

by Ine'a Smith

I wanted to write a poem to let you know how I’ve been feeling.
I wanted to write a poem to tell you all of the things I am too afraid fool say out of my mouth,
too afraid to scatter my thoughts all over the table,
To throw my feelings up on the screen.
To say what the fuck I want to say!
I wanted to write a poem to let you know that I miss when I was able to write you a poem,
When I could grab you by the hand with my verses,
Tour you around the space I call me,
Let you brush up against my bruises, 
tame my insecurities,
leave your scent in my bones.
I wanted you to get cozy there. 
Snug up against my rib,
Cuddle up against my collar,
Rest up on my tongue. 
I wanted to write a poem to tell you my words do not feel safe.
They have began to peak between my teeth, 
Scanning the room for the closest evacuation route, and they run back into my belly,
Burning it’s way there.
Years of do-re-mi,
Years of watching someone with my face repeat mantras and affirmations,
Years of perfecting my pitch, the melodies of my no’s.
Years of digging under all the dirty fingers, tearing through the silence
For you to clip my tongue when I tell you how I should be loved. 
Your mumbles push my voice down further,
Your teeth sucking my courage,
Your words stomp on my vowels, 
Your words swallow mine whole.
I wanted to write you a poem to tell you that I didn’t mean to unravel in front of you.
These pieces usually only scatter when I’m alone,
But lately they can’t tell the difference.

Sample Entry #28

Truth is Gravity

by Dom Root

I’ve been over-looking divine dreams

wallowing in common thoughts

about chasing a dolla

 

when lips seal

only pens leak,

 

when hearts hurt,

then the tears speak:

 

Quiet as kept

I like to keep

the content of

my character

between the confines

of my intentions,

per interaction.

 

so that means,

he can’t tell him,

to tell her,

to tell “WhatsHisName”

anything about me

 

unless I confirm it first.

 

You know it’s levels to this shit,

and dialogue can turn into

the exchange of imperfections

and these imperfections

can turn into ammunition

for fake friends to use

 

and shit can go from 0 to 100, real quick

(like real fucking quick)

 

and then we back to square one

because the truth is gravity

 

Now,

 

You don’t have to be Kanye

to know “it all falls down”

 

look around

 

circles so tight

it’s suffocating our lives

 

But, there’s value in a good friend,

 

one that is inspiring, loyal, and

vaults all of your secrets

and accepts who you are

and never takes advantage of your weaknesses

 

we are among a time

where the undermining

of expectations, is

surfacing like pandemonium

 

So don’t give too much

into something with no return

or else you’ll be permanently scarred

by some temporary burns.

 

It’s “the worst”

when they don’t see the vision

living for the world,

fuck the people in it,

i don’t need you,

but I want you

to understand

some things:

Be happy with who you are

and what you destined to be

cause there’s people out here

starving to be half of those things


 

So at least be real with yourself

when you,

at the function turning up

then the prayers going up,

like, “Lord forgive my sins,

I think I just messed… up!”

 
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