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growth

sometimes, growing
is more painful
than the hurt
that got you there.

growing is claws
scratching at your skin
and chipping away
at your bones.

growing is spitting out
your lover’s name
like it was a bitter plum
with a seed too big
to even think
about swallowing.

sometimes growing
is cutting away
your favorite parts,
and mowing down
that tall grass
that so many men
have tried to peek through.

sometimes growing
doesn’t feel like growing.
it feels like breaking,
and you look in the mirror
and see more jagged bottle
than woman.
but you know that
all this breaking
and shattering
got to mean something
one of these days.

so you keep at it.
you pluck the words
from your tongue,
cut the roses until
your blood tastes
like honey from all the thorns,
and trim the weeds away—
least they strangle you
in your sleep and
you lose all that good dirt
you’ve been putting down.

(image by Oscar Obians via unsplash)

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what mourning looks like

the bed still smells like his aftershave.
the cup he used is still sitting on the counter.
his clothes still hang in the closet.
you still listen to his voice from
the last message he left.
there are pictures littering the floor.
your friends tell you it’s time to move on.
pack the clothes away—haul them off to goodwill. Continue reading what mourning looks like

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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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Broken bones.

He graced me with a perfect smile upon his face

As he placed the most magical kiss lips can taste

Mending all my broken bones together

His presence couldn’t be detained by any weather

All of the bullet wounds surrounding my heart

Reminding me of the way I fell apart

Love will send your mind spiraling in the dark hours of the night

Reminiscing on all of the times you had to put up a fight

Demanding for him to stay

Yet all they tend to do is begin to run away

That is why our magnificent kiss haunts me in my dreams

Sadly love never is the way it seems

As much as I hoped this time would be different

I know deep in my core that it isn’t

I watch as the spot in my driveway remains empty

As you continue to love on plenty

Leaving them wondering deeply in their souls

Why their minds were left souring from their control

They fell for your same tricks

That you applied just as smoothly as the kiss you placed upon my lips

I knew I should of ran from the start

My mother always told me I was smart

I still am baffled in the way you managed to get under my skin

Why do people like you always have to win?

But I have learned my lesson this time around

As the scars you left on me are no longer profound

I will soon be ready to love again

As I no longer view my broken bones as a sin.

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The Aftermath by Samihah Pargas

I often wondered if you were as sad as I was after you walked away. It pained me to say that perhaps you were not, and one day I had to let my hope dissipate. This is where I walk now, on the road taking me further away from you and any dreams I held onto. I stopped by the ocean for a while and tried to drop your name into the water, but I might as well have drowned myself because you were still inscribed all over me. Continue reading The Aftermath by Samihah Pargas

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blk woman/holy woman

( photo by graham hunt via unsplash )

blk woman.
holy woman.
more soil than flesh—
hips shaking in the juke joint woman.
sunday morning high notes with
pot liquor and cornbread woman.
mothering woman.
chasing love in a field,
turning more scar than flower—
more, never less than woman.
yet, still seeing god woman.
you are here woman.

—you are holy, black woman

 

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Not Perfect

I’m not perfect.
Although that should be clear as water, sometimes I feel the need to state it. For myself and for others. Especially for others. It is probably my fault and in my actions. It’s probably something I do or don’t do. It’s probably because of the way I see the world and how I speak of it.
I am not perfect.
And I get tired.
And I give up too.
There are so many things I have given up and not looked back. There are so many things I have looked back but not regretted. There are so many things I regret too.
It’s entirely human. I believe.
Being a mess of so many things, not only good, not only bad, but everything. Not black or white but fifty shades of blue. And some purple, once you wear those rose colored glasses. On holidays. Or those real good days.
The days you hold on to with everything you got to keep moving forward. To keep moving. Even if only an inch or less. Even if to the sides or back. Just moving. Because life is made of movements, moments, actions and decisions you never really got to think through.
Life happens. But I digress.
I’m not perfect. And that’s fine. It’s entirely human, I believe.
What about you?
© Máh Lima


Photo by Ahmed Ashhaadh on Unsplash

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“You Shouldn’t Have Bothered” by Michelle Mangal

If you knew how
I’d cry walking along the river
Tears leaking behind my sunglasses
After you’d left
You
Would never have said those pretty lies to me.

If you knew how
I’d break into so many pieces
I’m still finding pieces of that girl I once knew
Under my bed and in the back of the sofa
You
Would never have attempted to love me.

You both shouldn’t have bothered.

Sorrow has scored its lines into my face
Silver is growing from my head
I’m fed up of photos that show eyelids puffy from tears
Because I cry before, after, and during everything I do.
Yet would either of you have stayed
if you knew that worst was yet to come?

Who knew that I’d break and then
break some more
until all there is left of me is
just dust
and grains of salt.

Truly, right now I think
You shouldn’t have bothered.

And yes, I survived those other tears,
That old heartache
and all the other bullshit life had to offer.

But honestly, my love

If that is all

you have

to give to me.

You shouldn’t have bothered.

(Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash)

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“Displaced” by Sarah James

I’m the piece of the puzzle that’s been tossed into a box
Trapped with all the pieces that have been lost
I don’t have any straight edges
I’ve been trying for so long to find my place
Between friendships, relationships, and incompatible minds
I haven’t found a place that’s truly mine
I’ll meet new people
Reconnect with others from the past
But nothing ever sticks
I’m left behind
Trying to reconfigure this puzzle that I don’t belong to
Hoping somehow, someone else got tossed in the same pile as me
That our pieces will connect
I’ll finally be whole

(Photo by Andrew Spencer on Unsplash)