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On Content Warnings

There are some poems we are just not ready to write The wound is still too fresh for us to take notes from the light of it And our pencil tips aren't sharp enough to stitch us up just yet When we spill our sins in ink We pray with stained hands Leave indigo fingerprints saying this is who I am, who I have been, and every me I can become I was told that as a wordsmith My job was simply this Take every human experience Sum it up with pretty syllables Paint vibrant pictures in black and white And at the end of the night You'll be paid in the stories others give you in exchange for your own And it will be worth more than gold to you But there are some stories we are just not ready to tell. And perhaps that's the reason I have developed a nasty habit of redacting every dictionary I've met Permanent marker scratching out the words "guilt" and "shame" until they bleed black like the only four letter word I can't even read There are some poems I can't bring myself to recite Because when I spilled my pain on those pages it was to realse the breath I've been holding since 19 And to take to a stage and Sum it up with pretty syllables Paint vibrant pictures in black and white Does not yield golden stories Those words take flight from my mouth like moths stirring up settled dust Have you ever seen the way a four letter word can desaturate a vibrant smile I've watched women turn to ghosts as they phantom fade into their seats and the life leaves their eyes as they battle back pasts violently brought present without warning But even if I did adequately announce the nature of the content it's not like I've done them any favors, Because standing up to retreat is as good as a confessional of that secret held pain barely worthy of being kept by loved ones let alone strangers Quietly putting on their masks so others won't see the way they bite the inside of their cheeks until they taste like my 2 cents Count the stories on that building 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Find something Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Purple is always the hardest 5 things I see 4 things I hear 3 things I feel TERROR ANGER numb Come back! Screaming inside while trying to maintain an otherwise calm demeanor. Locked out of my lovely night Flipping through a set of grounding technique keys trying to remember which one unlocks my "safe calm place" Blank face counting my way back to the present. Because there are some poems I was just not ready to hear.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2021




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