166

spaghetti strap-sized scoldinggirls used to get sent home fortheir sunburnt shoulders why would we make it so easy to oglewhy would we make it so worth looking at how often were we taught thatsomeone else’s wandering gazewas our fault

166

If you’re not reading Elle, perhaps you should be. This poem is a gut-punch and will remain with me for quite some time.

Let it marinate. It’ll stick with you too.

Unintended Codependency


I never want

to be so afraid

of living

that I

s  t a y

with someone who

makes me

f e e l

like I’m dead


I know so many women who’ve found themselves in this predicament. They’ve stayed so long with their partner(s) they’ve forgotten how to live on their own and they’re willing to remain in that relationship, regardless of how they’re being treated because it’s all they know–it’s all they’ve allowed themselves to know. And the fear of failing outside of the relationship scares them more than dying within the relationship ever could.

I’ve had to leave a couple friendships because the toxicity of what they were used to seeped into the seams of who we were. It’s harmful. It’s hurtful. And it’s a hindrance on their lives and the lives of others. Sadly, no one can force them out of their situations. It’s something they have to find the strength and belief in themselves to do.

It’s something they have to believe they’re worthy enough to do.

I can only stand by and love them as I know how. I can only support them in their efforts to become better as much as I can. But I’ve learned to remove myself from situations that are out of my control and I draw the line when I’ve noticed how hard one’s efforts can be especially when they’re ignored or avoided.

I can only wish them well when nothing else works and love them from afar.

Thanksgiving Eve: A Poem

my blood can’t handle any more apologies, insistence on the right to celebrate genocide…

Thanksgiving Eve: A Poem

A poem by the lovely Jennifer Patino. Let it sink in. Allow it to marinate for a moment in your bones. However you spend this day, I hope you do it safely and with more awareness than you should probably have.

Please go to the original poem to “like” and “comment.” Her words deserve that. Peace and blessings.

Getting to Know Me (An Audio Poem)

Community art: Different Women. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

2019 MTV Awards Musical Performance by Missy Elliott

Getting to Know Me

An Audio Poem

My kid sister probes me
for information. She needs to
know more about me.
Our upbringing was an odd one.
I’m more of a mother-figure to her
than a big sister; with 19 years
separating us, she “ma’ams” me
rather than “Ooh, girl” or 
“Child, pleases” me and it just seems weird.

She urges me to open up, to share,
but I’m not really the type to complain
more than I need to or
give more of me than I should.
I’ve learned who to shed skin
with and who not to and this isn’t
to say that my sister isn’t to
be trusted, no, that’s not it.
I’m just . . . careful now.

I want to vent sometimes to her,
I want her to hear me when I’m
in distress, yet there’s this overwhelming
feeling to protect her too
even if it’s from me.
She assures me she’s old
enough to digest what I
dole out but I’m hesitant.

I’ve lived a far different life
and my demons tend to follow
me along my sacred paths and
my sister is still growing,
still learning. I don’t want her
to know the me that drives
people away. I’m still working
on that me.
I need her around.

I’d hate for her to be one more
person I find myself chasing
after; another heart to grip.
People want you to strip
bare, stand naked before them,
but many of them aren’t ready
for the curves and folds and
two-toned skin. They just want
to see more of you even if
more of you isn’t beautiful.

It’s one more thing they can
hang over your head, dangle like
a dagger, cut you to the quick.
I’m trying. I swear, I am.
I ask her to be patient with me,
to understand — I have a way
and my way is comforting.
I can’t be rushed.

She understands.
Thank God in heaven.
She understands.


Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.

Featured Writer for November

SP Reis reached out to me just this past week and after I reviewed her profile on Medium, it was a no-brainer to add her to A Cornered Gurl. She is direct, concise, poignant, and rhythmic in her delivery. Her debut poem has all of this and more. You’ll see why I did not hesitate to add her to our community as a contributor. Opening, her first contribution to us, is below.


POETRY

Opening

How to speak of sexuality

Every beginning
comes from an opening.
The bravery to
trust in creativity and,
give love
sacredly.

If Moses parted the Red Sea,
then the watery space in between
found home in the
opening of women
from which life gives
and receives
freely.

If the earth was born of explosion,
then it was born from conspiracy
by chemicals to dive
at a chance encounter
with an opening of
trust.

So if you talk to me
about sexual wanting
do not speak
without the words
open,
sacred, 
trusting and 
free.




Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.