I take eight pills every morning

eight pills

eight candy-coated

medicinally infused

capsuled doses

of poison.

After every shower

I lather on shea butter 

skin smoothing

aloe

softening

kneading

lashing

fit you perfectly

against palm

erase mistakes made by razor

by wax

by tweazer

and I

pluck

and pluck

and rub

and tug

and rip

and sit

and sit

and sit

and scratch

and pinch

and slap

sting

bleed

scream

I am at war

I am fire

I am powder keg

I am anger

I am a terrorist

of my own country

for the sake

of this thing called beauty

I will tear down this tower

until there is nothing

but the standard

the standard is pain

is pain 

is pain

the standard

is fake

is a ghost

and I am violating

myself

into 

a phantom.

Raise Men, Not Martyrs.

If a black teen is murdered

and there’s no one around 

to hear the sound

was it really murder at all?

Three to four hours after he was shot

and killed

Michael Brown’s body 

was left out in the open

discarded like Emmett Till

and slowly

the masses began to gather

swarming

vultures picking him clean

to the bone

until he was white

white enough to have lived

to have not been shot in the first place

his ivory bones exposed

for all the world to see

to be fought over.

He was turned into scraps

thrown onto the pile of wrongful deaths

that has been rotting beneath the very same sun 

that saw human beings 

brought over on slave ships

and you wonder

you scratch your head and wonder

why a person my age and color

would say that enough is enough

would say that I’m tired of hearing

what “My people” went through

would say that I’m tired

of it being used as an excuse

to throw teenage boys to the slaughter

to turn another teenage boy into a martyr

yes

I am tired

tired of wondering that 

if my fifteen year old brother

put his hands behind his head

and dropped to his knees

and he screamed

and he screamed

would it help him to not be 

as black as he seemed?

Would the fact that he

is a single shade lighter than me

be enough to ensure that he still breathed?

That his heart still beat?

If a black boy is shot out

in the middle of the street

and there’s no one around

to see him knocked off his feet

is this nation

still one of equality?

I am tired

so very tired 

of hearing about the war on terror

when there is clearly a war being raged

on color.

Sometimes I wish that I could rip

the skin off of my back

because gunshots are nothing but

whip cracks

and zip-ties

nothing but nooses

around young black men’s necks.

Emmett Till

Medgar Evers

James Chaney

George Stinney

Travon Martin

Ezell Ford

Michael Brown

the list is endless—

and it isn’t getting any shorter

you want to choke our boys

with the very same bandages

you used to wrap them in

smother them

so that even in death 

they can’t speak

can’t breathe

these

are the things that

pile up bodies in the street

the sounds of a thousand promises that sink

we were told that we were free

we were told about a dream

but it seems

that the color of our skin

will always determine 

the color of our character

so we will be beasts

throats thick with fury

and nostrils spitting fire

we will rip your regime limb from limb

and then

perhaps the sounds of your own screams

will remind you of how human

we all used to be

I am tired of teens 

adorning mother’s warnings

like armor

just to walk down the street

and you seem to think

that this isn’t happening

how many more black boys

have to die

how many more poems do we have to write

before this

is considered genocide?

—Performed for this year’s Wild Women of Poetry Slam at the 9th Annual Kentucky Women Writer’s Conference

2 notes

to find peace

michaellottner:

as the storm gently
tapers off into a western mist
a gentle sea breeze whisks
through the air and feels
its way along my spine

a great yearning for peace
troubles my mind as i search
for relief among such reckless waves,
an ebb and flow crashing melancholy
seeks to draw the night ashore

salt-spiked spray fills the air
approaching the great open blue
and every step weighs the horizon’s
dying glow down a little further
into the abyss beyond my vision

as my toes catch a few drops
from a nearby splash, spontaneous
and the sand sticks to my soles.
the sun slants at the perfect angel;
glimmering gloriously

the world dims and in the moment
between sunlight
and its reflection
off the moon, the ocean
swallows me whole

in this neptune prison,
all life glows a teal light
sand falling off my skin
the earth
releases me

from destruction
i came forth
and so now
i return
.

123 notes

(4) unread text messages.

luxmendax:

I told you I quit smoking
and I did, for a while, but
sometimes I get lonely—

it helps.

I don’t really drink anymore
because I forget too much
like how you won’t be there
when I wake up in the morning.

I have to go get more gas tonight
because I’ve made a habit of driving
aimlessly, wandering in the dark
to watch the light streak like stars.

I’m doing well but not well enough
for me to smile without bitterness
choked in the back of my throat—

spitting blood between teeth to get the taste of lies out.

35 notes

She carries a letter from her mother
in her left breast pocket,
written in faded ink
it stains her clothes and sinks beneath her skin
to swim in clotted bloodstreams.
The words are faded now, she cannot read
anything past the first sentence.
‘I am scared you are a figment
of something lost long ago.’
And every day she reads those words
and carries them in her soul.

With each step she wears a crown
made of thrones
melted down and built back up
with countless broken bones.
She swears her tears were made to stain
the pages of books ,
and her heart was made to break
and burn. Still she carries a letter
from her mothers daughter
in a pocket she built beneath her skin.
And every day she breaks it open,
and hopes her smile does not show
the weaknesses within.

Even now, as she lets the paper fly,
she isn’t sure who wrote the words
on that piece of broken sky.
So she sings a note to the night
and waits for another moment
to ease the strain of people lost
in the passage our time.

Michel LazzaroDon’t Leave Me Alone with Myself (via elzaro)

47 notes

Ruben

lookingforwisdom:

Angel or demon,
he came prowling from a dumpster
empty handed, walking slowly
out of the alley
in a full-length raincoat
on a stifling afternoon,
a few flies buzzing around his dark face.
He walked with his legs spread far apart
because he had pissed himself.

I was sure I’d never seen him before
but after he had passed
the name, Ruben, came to mind
and, as if it had become stuck
to the sole of one of his grimy shoes,
it followed him down the street
just as it started to rain.

60 notes

I wish psych 101 hadn’t given me the option to learn to read body language. I wish it hadn’t taught me how both men and women are equally aggressive, yet his is physical and hers indirect:
He may fuck you and leave you, but she will fuck him and look him dead in the eye picturing someone else. I don’t know what’s better or worse
I’ll never see things the same again (via perfectionisodd)

291 notes

Opal

wildflowerveins:

God called me Fish Heart. Lily Mouth. I was an evening sort of girl. He liked me better ripped up, bar bathrooms, bar peanuts, skip the small talk. We’re both Adam. We’re both Eve. In the mornings, swallowing bait, swallowing nails, pulling apart the microwave, two forks and an empty socket. Baby, there is always a limit. Hours spent rubbing my belly, waiting for watermelon trees, or orange bushes, or flowers heavy with green apples. And now, this is what I can dissect: his fingers in the gut of the fish, his fingers in the core of the flower, always pulling. Like it wasn’t enough to feel, like He had to see, to know.

813 notes

buttonpoetry:

Portland Poetry Slam - “Choose Your Own Adventure”

"Every morning starts with a dark room and an ominous door."

Brenna Twohy, Alex Dang, Doc Luben, and Leyna Rynearson, performing at the 2014 National Poetry Slam. Subscribe to Button on YouTube!

1,305 notes

did you […]

michaellottner:

did you forget
                   to
                     fall
                        asleep
find a nook
                 in
                   my
                       shoulder
close your eyes
                      and
                          let yourself
                                         weep
roll along my back
                            parts
                                  of
                                     you
roll down my
                     strained
                                nervous
                                           skin
until morning came
                           never
                                  looked
                                           back
and your tears
                     fresh
                            morning
                                        dew
fading breaths like
                           an
                              orange
                                        sky
round full circle
                      sun
                          seeks
                                  dark

realize you’re
                      alone
                              just like
                                          the
                                               earth
 ?

297 notes

wnslw:

I want this on a shirt

wnslw:

I want this on a shirt

(Source: freckledshins)

465,513 notes

hkirkh:

godotal:

broken body

"I was born with glass bones and paper skin. Every morning I break my legs, and every afternoon I break my arms. At night, I lie awake in agony until my heart attacks put me to sleep."

hkirkh:

godotal:

broken body

"I was born with glass bones and paper skin. Every morning I break my legs, and every afternoon I break my arms. At night, I lie awake in agony until my heart attacks put me to sleep."

135,008 notes

thebaddestfemaleradfem:

huntyqueen:

Today one of my friends was dress coded for her bra strap showing and so she wrote on the gym shirt that they gave her. It reads “Dress Code: promotes the objectification and sexualization of young bodies, blames the wearer for the onlooker’s perceptions/actions, perpetuates rape culture, and is bullshit” On the back she wrote “You can’t shame me for something I’m not ashamed for”. It was really cool seeing all of the people’s reactions who saw it and I thought what she did was pretty cool.

YES YOUNG WOMEN STANDING UP FOR THEMSELVES
ENDLESS APPLAUSE

thebaddestfemaleradfem:

huntyqueen:

Today one of my friends was dress coded for her bra strap showing and so she wrote on the gym shirt that they gave her. It reads “Dress Code: promotes the objectification and sexualization of young bodies, blames the wearer for the onlooker’s perceptions/actions, perpetuates rape culture, and is bullshit” On the back she wrote “You can’t shame me for something I’m not ashamed for”. It was really cool seeing all of the people’s reactions who saw it and I thought what she did was pretty cool.

YES YOUNG WOMEN STANDING UP FOR THEMSELVES

ENDLESS APPLAUSE

156,973 notes

My steps slip across the earth
with hesitation singing in sorry bones.
The leaves begin to fall around me
coating my world in fiery cold.

I am smoking the moments before we kiss
as my lips taste the morning snow;
I freeze into an earthen thicket
sunstrikes falling around my bones.

Your eyes could rebirth a stone cold sun
with a passing glance, a promise of home
and here I sit, with half a thumb
hoping Autumn will mend a soul.

Michel LazzaroSeasonal Romance (via elzaro)

188 notes