I have lived through some of the darkest hours of my life these past six months. While I struggled understanding why I had so much resentment towards the people I claimed to hold nearest to my heart and feeling extremely self-deprecating, I turned to the only thing I knew best to do and created this series.
I dedicate this to my mother and all the young women who are and have struggled with self-identity, loss, abuse, and forgiveness.
But it should also be said, it is an inevitable truth in Buddhist beliefs that suffrage exists and it is universally experienced. This series is a reflection of a lifelong lesson that I believe we all connect with, allowing us to be more humane towards one another. Let us continue thriving, reminding ourselves that soon our time will come, for, in the darkest hours, there is a sunrise offering us an opportunity to start over again.
Note to self:
Within you lies a thousand stories to teach. You have a thousand more to learn.
Keep learning. Keep growing.
As a child
You taught me never to lie
Lying causes pain
Lying causes sadness
Lying created secrets which harmed those who kept them.
As I grew older
I was taught how to keep secrets
Lying could hide away the pain
Lying could hide away the sadness
Lying aided the secrets which harmed those who kept them
Then one morning you lied about the bruises that covered your delicate body.
“I slipped and fell on a ridged road.”
“Must have been a steep fall.”
“It was”, your lips fibbed.
But this time I was no longer a child
And lying could no longer hide away the pain nor the sadness.
Lying could no longer aid the secrets which harmed you for keeping them.
The Turf Lament:
“Ya deja de chillar!” a voice taunted,
as I felt the weight of my knees sink into the turf,
like wheels in mud puddles.
With my palms facing the sky, I begged God for mercy.
Perhaps it was the spirits in my body that made me believe I was hearing God,
Or maybe I was just desperate for a reason to have faith in myself,
But as I cursed your name
Tears fell like leaking ceilings
Not just for you,
But for all women in my life who have faced a sorrow so deep, it made them silent.
I cried for them at that moment.
Perplexed stares watched.
I finally understood.
No more locked bathroom door to hideaway.
Nightmare on 54th & Lawndale
Sozzled with hair tousled,
a reproaching finger,
You confessed what he had done to you.
And like a frighten child you hid behind me.
Suddenly I was four again,
But this time it wasn’t just a dream
And the monster in the house wasn’t a fragment of my imagination.
You look like distrust
Your face disgusts me
Like week old hung laundry
Exposed and neglected
The one responsibility you had
and you disrespected it
I’ll forgive you someday
Distrust is your name.
Note to self:
Be the women you’ve always wanted to be.
For all the women,
who came before me
whose tongues they choose to hold
like the expensive purses, they preferred to flaunt.
For the looks of acceptance
as you talked down about their names,
like streets you wish to never passed through.
I apologize for the “Thirst Traps”
whom you’ve affectionately praised in your bed,
but scrutinized for satisfying your untamed hunger.
For the many times, you were congratulated for devouring the last inch of respect
from young women too young to understand their value.
I apologize they ever came into your life and taught you to forget how to love.
I am not sorry for letting my voice ring like sirens.
For bringing flames into your cold heart.
For bring showers that left you gasping for air.
I am an unholy woman, but I am the closest thing to God you will ever see.
You will worship me.
And all the women before me.
Because like them,
I am a temple,
which you disrespectfully weren’t able to see.
With so much undermined potential
I watch them resuscitate you in the morning
they know of far too many places,
none of which to call a home,
but you make of it.
weight is lifted off your shoulders,
as the barbell slouches your body.
Or when the world starts to come down.
Wiping off each ripple of sweat,
working towards a better future.
Ready to catch any chance that they get,
they reach out for glory and victory they achieve.
they sing and dance,
speaking a foreign language of gestures and rhythm,
Only you and I know.
Guiding my body closer towards yours,
swaying to the song of love
Sanctuaries of pure serenity.
They do not discriminate.
They’re made to give praise.
yôr,yo͝or/ /hand/ :noun
Unshakable protection; unconditional love.