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Thirteen

a poem by Jaleesa Davis

Still, after seven years, I can’t say that my heart still feels no pain, before that day it was sunshine and afterward it was just rain.

No one ever told me my story wouldn’t be goofy or fun, and as far as stories are concerned, I wish I didn’t have one.

They say you always have a choice in life, that is until someone takes that right from you leaving you with only the choice they make, the one thing I thought I was able to give who knew you’d take.

I told you I forgave you because I did, but I still cry about it and I still mourn over it because I was just a kid.

And maybe I never used word of mouth to say no or that I didn’t want to continue with the actions being introduced, but I can tell you right now that I wasn’t seduced, and that I shouldn’t have been with you.

I’ll always blame myself for what happened to me because what good would it do if I continued to blame you, I’d still be unhappy.

It’s been seven years since you took the one thing I was allowed to give, and sometimes I wonder how I live with that memory in the back of my brain, there is sunshine and yet there’s still rain.

I’ll never yell that dirty R word because I know it’s not real, and that’s not what it was, but I’ll always loathe you because it was supposed to be my choice and it never was.

You were an adult and I wish I could tell you that I am now too, and yet I still sometimes think about you.

I’ve repressed that day so much in my mind. It feels like it’s been loads of time, between then and now, and it still affects me and I don’t know how.

 

published in Genre: Urban Arts First Edition

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To an old friend.

Photograph by Samihah Pargas

I wrote your name on an empty page and

suddenly it seemed full.

Our memories fill in the blank spaces when my words aren’t enough.

They never are.

Yet you hold onto them the way you held my heart

when it was too heavy for me to carry.

You are home. You are

tear stained ink on pages of poetry for quiet nights.

You are the words I seek but never find.

You made us beautiful to read about.

– Samihah Pargas
– IG: Shadesofherink

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Untitled

I try to swallow the pain

Before it eats me up.

The sharpness of it cuts my throat

Its bitterness makes me gag and choke

It digs deeper into my body

And attempts to venture into the depths of my soul.

But it hits my intestines,

Comes back up forcefully and

I projectile vomit it across the room.

My body rejects its presence,

But my mind welcomes it.

And I try to swallow the pain again.

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Him.

I want to taste
His honeyed brown skin
Get lost in the strong musk smell
Feel the gentle power that permeates
His manhood.
I want to envelop myself
In his masculinity,
His sexiness,
And his passion.
I want us to meet each other’s desires
In a primitive and heated way.
Losing all self-control
In our luscious lovemaking.
I want to hear him whisper sensual, desirable things
He wants to do to my body.
I want to taste his yearning in my mouth
Savoring every succulent flavor.

I want him.

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beti

Maa makes a salan for each son

because they like different things

 

but the beti needs to learn to make her own food

kyun ki uski age pe shaadi aur bachey hotey hain

 

larka jaan per be jaiy, jaise bi rai

maa ankh band karke osko kabi kuch boley gi nahi

 

beti aik galti kare

uski izzat zaban per aja ti hai

 

the sons can go out and party get a girl pregnant

but they’ll still be able to move on and find a good girl to marry

 

the girl stays out a bit later than 8 pm

might wear a t-shirt,

and the whole mohalla is calling her a slut, saying she’s no longer a virgin

 

truth is

we don’t love our girls as much as our sons

 

truth is

you have failed us girls

 

truth is

us girls are tired of walking on eggshells

of being thrown around, walked all over

and expected to have sabr

 

kehte hain betiyaan sab se bari rehmat hain

toh aaj hum ko kyun torey ho

 

Picture Credit: @thepakistanimarthastewart

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A dance in the dark

Now I find myself dancing
to the frantic beat of my heart
at the threshold of judgment
desperate for a figment of
something positive, warm
but realise that I’m shackled
by cynical negations, galore.
Here demons wear masks
of noblemen and kings
and brandish their swords
Continue reading A dance in the dark

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Reflections

I’m as guilty as the next person, I’ve used them, lots of times, it’s hard not to.  Those apps that remove every line, every blemish, every scar….but to what extent do we become someone we’re not?  We can’t be 20, we can’t just never get crows feet, or laugh lines, we age, we all do, why has it become a trend to hide it? Continue reading Reflections

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Road by Jess Saunders

The road between society and I have grown far apart
I’ve gotten lost more than once on my journey
On this path that has hills and trick pathways
Hills too steep for my strength and pathways that have lead me to unknown places
; sometimes good, sometimes bad

Continue reading Road by Jess Saunders

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Harvest by Rania D.

O birds of hope
don’t flock to migrate
Winter’s approaching,
a less hurried gait
Let’s pick our crops
soft and mellow
Before joys rust
and turn to yellow
We’ll gather grins,
plum and ripen
No squandered tears,
ample dreams brighten
Our diligent pursuit,
we’re creatures awake
For when life’s frost bites,
survival hibernates
Let’s tap and dance
in a feast of harvest
while the scarlet disc
gives in to darkness
The sun shall tilt
dropping her last golden locks
The mist will fill
to chill empty docks
Perched larks of glee,
chirp for me till dawn
Sweet songs to echo
through a season forlorn.
By Rania D.

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Nahi

I survived an earthquake
and my soul is still shaking inside
bones rattling
my heart beating too fast

 

what if I just trapped myself into a bigger mess
I survived an earthquake
I fought the earth
and the stars
I changed my way
I saved myself

 

and yet here I am
with hope hiding behind me
hoping to not be taken away
from the monstrous beast
depression that keeps
taunting me
telling me
stupid girl,
you were never meant to be happy
you were never meant to
have love that treated you right

 

and I don’t think I have it in me
to stand up again
to fight back
so I just whisper
I just whisper to myself
nahi nahi nahi

 

and someday I might
hold my self together
sew my self back up
and fight

 

but for now, I just whisper nahi

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Featured Artist: Jaelen Isis

Come view works by Jaelen Isis at Woodland Pattern BookCenter on February 24th, 2018, 6-9pm.

I am a watercolor painter located in Chicago. I specializing in portraiture and mixed media. Watercolor brings forth an emotion to the eye; whatever the piece of art may be, the observer instantly feels a connection as an effect to the natural movements of the paint. The versatility of watercolor contributes to the color, detail, and movement of my pieces. 

 

In my paintings, I portray men, women, young people, people of color, etc. in relation to the stereotypes frequently attached to them. Using mixed media (if you look closely) you see illustrations hidden within the colors and lines of the background and foreground of each piece. Continue reading Featured Artist: Jaelen Isis