I Thought I’d Forget All About You

Musical Selection: Bilal|When Will You Call?

A Lamentation

But I was wrong.
I am wrong.
And every autumn pulls
up memories — I have tried
to forget, and I find myself
burying those memories
deeper into my mind for them
to arise at the worst time.

It’s the children …
The children push more
pain into my heart than
anything else.
How are they doing?
What activities do you have
them in after school now?
Your oldest should be going
to college …
College. It’s almost hard
for me to say this out loud.

I have missed three years of
seeing their faces, hearing their
voices, and learning about
their lives as new
things occur. 

I have resorted to denying who
I am; who I was, but
the pain in my heart about
the children does not lie.
It’s there. It is a constant
reminder of what I have lost.

And as I weave through every
year — no longer your toy;
no longer wrapped up in my
own head about what we
could have been — what I wanted
us to be, seasonal depression
sneaks up on me with
your face as its representative.

I am weak.
I am.
I will say this with
no shame.
I am weak, still, for you.

The dog hops up in
my lap — reminds me it’s
time for her to relieve
herself, and I don’t feel
like moving from a spot
I’ve cozied onto in the

She still has some
energy even though she’s
past what some say is
too long for a dog to live — she
can spit fire if I am
not quick to meet her needs.

And isn’t that how you were?
Isn’t that what made us
cling to one another?
Your need to order and my
need to take orders.

Weren’t we too blind to
see it could never work
between two women who
were writers so full of
embellished stories?

I thought I’d forget all
about you, yet three years later,
you appear. And no amount
of therapy is sweeping you away
from my heart’s door.

I wanted more.
I couldn’t have it.
I never would have.
At every turn, you would
choose him.
You chose him.

And really, he was the
best decision. My mind
knows this — how about
telling it to my heart?

Originally published in soliloque via Medium.


Flash Fiction

Photo by Tyler Lastovich via Pexels

Readers: The following fictional piece is one of abandonment, frequent miscarriages, and self-harm.

My body decided to terminate my pregnancy. The phone calls won’t stop. Everyone says the same thing. Everyone thinks I can just pick up and start anew. It doesn’t work that way.

I’m broken. There’s no fixing me. This is the third time. It will be my last.

My name is Clara De Jesus-Mendez Moses. I am an only child to older parents. Friends say, maybe it’s my DNA. That I am full of codes and clues and puzzles that only lead to trauma. My mom was forty-two when she had me. Dad was fifty.

I grew up in a stuffy, one-percent, melanin-robbed neighborhood. Piano lessons. Debutant balls. Beauty pageants. Cozy Camp Lassiter. Passing . . .

My family denied our heritage. Mom, half Black & Israeli. Dad, half Mexican & Black. I fit somewhere in the middle as a conglomerate of all things and no things.

They married me off at a young age — 19. Todd Ramses Moses. Yes, it’s a weird name. But he was beautifully breathtaking. He was a God. My God. I worshiped him. I was his temple.

We tried for children immediately after saying, “I will.” No “I dos” for us. Our first time, I’d just turned 20. Nine weeks in. I lost the baby. Our second time, 22. Thirteen weeks in. Again. The last time, a third — I couldn’t make it to six weeks. That’s when I told Todd I was broken and if he wanted children, he should find someone else.

He found someone else.

The cutting started. I’d scrape my wrists with razor blades lightly. Just enough to see blood. Once a week or whenever I felt inadequate. I felt inadequate all the time.

I’d managed to leave that stuffy neighborhood, immersed myself in a diverse community, and taught at one of our schools. I decluttered my home. Anything that reminded me of Todd, I tossed. That didn’t stop the cutting.

I was supposed to be happy.

I have a huge attic. It’s quiet and dark and has great acoustics. I sit with my legs crossed early on Saturday mornings and strum old love songs on my guitar. It helps. I get through the day after seven or eight songs.

Every few weeks, a family member stops by. A friend. Someone from our church. They mean well. They want to be sure I’m eating. I nibble on plates of food but never finish a meal.

“Don’t name them.” That’s the advice my therapist gave me after my second miscarriage. “Don’t name them.” I named them. I mourned. I grieved. I’m still mourning. I’m still grieving.

Todd has three girls now. A set of twins, five — and a two-year-old. I saw him at the market with his mighty fine family one Sunday. He waved, cautiously. I nodded casually. I pushed my cart as fast as it would go.

I wanted to get back home as quickly as possible. The urge to cut again had taken over. I was remembering who I was — who I’d become. The woman who couldn’t have children.

My body decided to terminate my pregnancy. The phone calls won’t stop. Everyone says the same thing. Everyone thinks I can just pick up and start anew. It doesn’t work that way.

I’m broken. There’s no fixing me. This is the third time. It will be my last.

I throw myself at my door, crash into a chair in the kitchen, and dig deep into my skin.

The pain rushes over me instantly then stops. I feel nothing.

This piece began as a response to two different Twitter prompts; vss365 (anew) & vssmurder (terminate).

Originally published in The Junction via Medium.

Young Minds of Medium Featured Writer: Aaska Aejaz

Aaska Aejaz

This young one popped up on the scene at Medium out of the blue one day, specifically in my feed, and she has been doing that ever since. She is passionate about changing the world–one small act at a time and believes in love, the gift of humanity, staying positive, and writing. She responded to the Young Minds of Medium “How Do You Sing The Blues” challenge by introducing a way to shift from sadness to happiness through music and dancing. Below is her contribution.

Young Minds of Medium Blues Call “How Do You Sing the Blues?”

Let it be: Just Dance — Break the Floor

Photo by Leon Liu on Unsplash

I say . . . Let it be,
Come and dance
Break the floor!
Life is just as it is,
Whenever my heart melts
Whenever my eyes flow
Whenever I feel the obstruction
to inhale the oxygen
I tried to tell myself

Life is just as it is —

It happens in this world,
If there is darkness
If there is anguish
Don’t cry —
There will be morning
after night
There will be happiness
after sorrows and pain
Just be patient . . . let it be

Come and dance
Break the floor!
There will be your weather
There will be your voice
There will be your day
There will be your time!
Just laugh now —
turn on the music

Let’s forget every sadness
Come and dance
Break the floor!

A few years ago, I didn’t know how to handle the chaos of my mind or how to sing the blues? I was an empty page — as blank as every jotting written on a wet paper. My problem was that if I got hurt on one thing, I had started to open all the doors and windows of memories — trust me, it got worse sometimes. My depression had started to increase with the degree of pain, and I’d begun to lose everything.

But, you know, sometimes we are just walking on the road and we meet some people side by side . . . We start to converse, they meet us like travel partners for a very short period of time. And in this short time, we learn some major lessons on how to live a life or sometimes we learn how we can do it! As well as, I met a friend on my travel journey, I call yet my friend even she is not with me now and I don’t know where she is in this world. But, luckily, I collided with her in the past.

She taught me a few lessons, she edified me, don’t worry, if you have a trouble, in this world, everyone faces problems, everyone has their part of sorrows, some has more — some have a few, but the key you should have in your pocket where you could lock your all pain and worries.

The key is how to neglect the dark side of your life and how to be a positive one, basically, just pretend you are okay with that, this is not a big deal and if you want to do big things — to remind yourself. Sometimes big problems also are part of big dreams. Just turn on the music loud and dance like nobody’s watching you, it sounds funny, but let me tell you — it will increase your heart rate, improve physical tenacity, mental performing, general and psychological prosperity, self-confidence and self-esteem, social capabilities and these all things will automatically make you feel happy.

And you don’t believe, I do the same — whenever I’m stuck in the chaos, I just come at home and turn on the music and dance even if I am not a good dancer. I don’t know how to dance because I never did before meeting her.

I know this is so hard to face the difficult times of our life, but it is a really good recipe to ignore the negativity or hurting feelings which we get from depression. All I can suggest you is — don’t think you are alone in this world, just dance and break the floor. Trust me for once, it will work. 🙂

Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.

The Blood of Old Souls

Part III: Cherish

The Sick Child: Courtesy of Edvard Munch

Trigger Warning: This short story, fictional work will be semi-graphic in nature regarding pedophilia/familial child rape, death & dying, and choosing to end the life of one’s child. If this is something you think you should not be reading, please, do not continue.

Marci sits at her daughter’s bedside. Tubes, lines, beeps, buzzes, and everything else that disrupts the child’s rest is alive and doing its job. She hangs her head slowly, embracing the trembling hands of her only daughter — peace is nowhere to be found. The room smells of overcooked death and analgesics. Every doctor within their specialty has had their say — they plead with Marci to “pull the cord,” to let her youngest go in peace. A rare form of bone cancer, Ewing sarcoma, is having its final say on their daughter’s life. Marci thinks about the decision, her husband is opposed. She whispers to Cherish, letting her know her pain.

“It’s a decision I never wanted to make. What mother wants to kill her child? What mother can? Your Daddy — heavy in his groveling, begs me night and day not to let you go. But, is this living? Cherish, are you alive in there?”

Cherish turns her head but her eyes remain closed. A small breath of air leaves her chapped lips. She tries to speak, but nothing comes forth. Marci continues. She is praying to her daughter’s trembling hands instead of the God she has known for forty years. She is praying to the monitors, to the adjustable bed, to the sanctity of this very moment between her and her daughter, but not to her God.

“Cherish, sweet baby, if you can hear me, squeeze my hand. Squeeze Mommy’s hand. Just one squeeze and I will know what to do. Just one squeeze, please. Please, baby.”

There is no response.

No hand squeezing, not even a faint understanding of what is being said. Cherish is dwelling in two worlds — caught up between the souls of the ancestors of Marci and the ancestors of her father, Lincoln. They are arguing over the young girl’s soul — who gets to have it when she is gone? Marci continues, the room in its quiet reveal, suddenly becomes noisy. Lincoln walks in with their son Colin. They come bearing flowers and a teddy bear. Cherish stirs in the sterilized bed, twitching her feet, and slowly moving her head.

Something is wrong.

“We stopped at the gift shop for Cherish. Colin picked out the teddy bear. I picked out the flowers. How’s our fighter doing?”

Marci picks up on Cherish’s reaction to Lincoln’s entrance to the room. She is squeezing her hand. A mother knows. A mother always knows when something is wrong. Colin has noticed that his sister is having what seems like a fit — the last functioning conversation without words before… before she dies.

“Mom, what’s going on? Is Cherish trying to live? What is happening!?”

“I don’t know, honey. I think she is trying to tell me something. I think she is trying to say something important.”

Lincoln steps closer, he swipes the bit of hair hanging on his daughter’s forehead to the side. Softly, he leans in and places a kiss on her cold cheek.

“Daddy’s here, baby.”

Cherish’s vital signs spark, then plummet. Her body convulses, the room darkens, and everything not bolted down swirls and hovers about the family for five seconds. She squeezes her mother’s hand again. She squeezes much harder this timeA child dying to get away from a perverted father. A child begging for death to come as an escape. A child, with no words, only the squeeze of her mother’s hand.

“I hear you, baby. I hear you.”

Marci kisses her daughter, looks at Lincoln with undefinable rage, and before he can utter one word, she pulls the bedside monitor’s cord. She pulls every tube, cord, and PICC-line sustaining her daughter’s life. Marci is unsure, but as she looks at Cherish one last time, she thinks she sees her smile. The ancestors fighting over her daughter’s soul appear, not only do they take Cherish—

They come for Lincoln too.

Originally published on February 111, 2018, via Medium.