Redacted (An Experiment)

Europeana via Unsplash

An Audio Poem

They tell me, erasing one’s
bloodline is not something
they can do, however, I’m
censored and erased without permission
and I wonder,

“Is it what I’m saying or how
I’m saying it?”

And I sit and watch the people
of the world gather amongst
themselves to finally show us
their vocal sides of life.
I guess being silent came
at a heavy price and not everyone
can carry a cross.

Not everyone’s built for burdens
thrown upon their shoulders at
a moment’s notice.

I’ve found my cross to bear is mine
and mine alone — I carry it knowing
this life is not my last.

Many are learning about Tulsa, Rosewood,
Atlanta, and Wilmington
and they think they know the struggles
of a people who have done nothing but
fight for basic rights to
claim the fight from us.

Yes, we need your voices.
We need you to understand that
this — this being black and fighting
is a thing that has been a thing and
now with new eyes placed upon
fresh faces, millions see what should
have been seen centuries ago.

Removed from history books, our stories
were buried in places where cobwebs
hide and tethered papers have been
forbidden to see the light of day.

You tear down a few statues, remove
racist blips from comedic performances,
change the names of products drenched in hate,
and feel as though this should . . .

Shut. Us. Up.

Oh, ye’ of little faith, we are only
growing stronger and the fight that
will come after this will be one
spoken about years beyond the depth
and breadth of the color of one’s skin.

Now, redact that.


Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.

You Don’t Know. You Can’t Know.

Photo by Anastasiia Chepinska via Unsplash

No one tells you what
to feel when your co-worker
is diagnosed with a virus
that does not relent, has no remorse,
could not care less about your
family, friends, lifestyle, sexuality,
or economic status.

They don’t prepare you for
the see-sawed up and down
roller coaster ride you will experience,
constantly checking to see if he’s okay.
Your insides grow numb,
your mind loses its pistol-like
ability to adapt to anything, and you
find yourself saying . . .

“It’s okay.” “It’s okay.” “It’s okay.”

But, you don’t know.
You can’t know.
You have no earthly idea
if it’s okay.
One day, he’s breathing well
on his own, the next — oxygen levels
have tanked and ICU is clamoring
to scoop up another body and
swivel the bed up against the back wall
of a hospital room that smells more like
alcohol and potent disinfectants
than a place someone goes to
heal.

When you work in healthcare,
you grin and bear it, tuck your feelings
deep within you, move on, and
fight until your bones crack and ache
and it pains you to sit down, and you take
your ass home, shower, cook, walk your dog,
and find thirty minutes of rest before you
get up and do it all over again.

And you still wonder,
“Will he make it today”
or “Will today be the day
our higher-ups plod around with
heavy feet to tell us of his death?”
You don’t want to hear the sound
of the Grim Reaper coming with
his scythe ready to strike.

You pray for this loved one, call in
backup and ask them to send warriors
with fangs that cut through tough flesh
and hearts of pure gold.
God becomes a friend you argue with and
confess things you’ve held deep within
you for decades.

You tell him you’re tired of his bullshit —
you want him to let this one be.
Let this man live so his nine-year-old
son can see him smiling once again.
You tell him to get it together and not
make any more room for lives
senselessly lost to something we
cannot contain.

And then you cry yourself to sleep
again — just like you did
the night before. And the one before that.
And the one before that.

Then, you wake up,
put on the face they ask you
to wear to work, cover it with a mask,
and ready yourself for more
of the same.

You don’t know — you can’t know
if he’ll live.


Originally published in P. S. I Love You via Medium.

To him who has my eyes . . .

man carrying baby and kissing face
Photo by Zach Vessels via Unsplash

you were my first gift
the one I didn’t have to open
to see and feel how much
it would mean to me

the things a little girl yearns for
includes the comfort of a father’s
loving arms and I needed yours–
they were always there

we have had our moments
our fights
disagreements
instances of not wanting to
be wrong, yet we are
still stronger than our
last downfall

you, who has my eyes,
I owe you a debt
that can never be repaid–
I have this gift of life

because you gave it
to me


A very Happy Father’s Day to fathers young and old wise and not. We see you and we love you.

A Cornered Gurl has a new look . . .

Screenshot 2020-06-20 at 12.37.48 PM
ACG Screenshot #1

A Cornered Gurl via Medium has a new look & we are happy to share it with you. Many of our writers felt compelled to write about their thoughts on racism, thus “Raising Our Voices #BLM a promotional feature is now on our homepage.

Screenshot 2020-06-20 at 12.37.57 PM
ACG Screenshot #2

Screenshot 2020-06-20 at 12.38.10 PM
ACG Screenshot #3


We invite you and hope you see & hear us.