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Ine'a Smith LUV Poetry Contest Winner

Updated: Apr 2, 2021

Ine'a Smith is a 6th grade ELA teacher in New Orleans and an upcoming Spoken Word Artist/Poet. Ine'a graduated from The College of New Jersey in May 2020, where she self-designed her own major - Literary, Visual and Performing Arts with a minor in African American Studies. Follow her poetry instagram account for more content (@WordsFromMyArt).

Ine'a placed second in the LUV poetry contest, with a first time submission into the contest. Congratulations to you!


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 to 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 begun 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.

Unravel by Ine'a Smith


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