for women who only rest when they die

a poem I wrote about my late auntie, who I remember always being in motion, rarely taking time to sit and be still for more than a few minutes. the greatest lesson I’ve learned from observing the way she lived her life is how important it is for women to take off their life and rest [to borrow from nayyirah waheed’s beautiful words]. it could mean the difference between survival and death.

premature women

premature women leave behind fancy tea sets
still in their box, stashed away for special days
they die with $800 in their bank accounts, combined
they look through old photo albums,
and pick the best ones to be displayed at their funeral
they leave no instructions for the care of their children
they abandon preteen daughters before showing them how to handle their first sight of blood
they leave their husbands without a map of the kitchen
they leave their sisters alone to decipher their own dreams
they become ghosts before they could live.

her most persistent feeling was fatigue
fatigue that seeped deep into her bones and seized her nerves
a daily, ever present fatigue
where even a deep sigh could make her head spin
because that was the longest oxygen stayed in her lungs.
so how could she tell at the end,
between fatigue and disease?
it had been lodged in her cells all along.

can you blame me for making a point of exhaling?

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I did my first poetry reading!

hello lovely human. I’ve truly missed this space. I’m genuinely proud to share something that I did recently (just last weekend) – my first poetry reading. at the most intimate, cozy, independent, feminist bookstore. bookstores are magical places anyway but Bluestockings Bookstore here in NYC felt like such a warm place. in the days leading up to my reading, I was extremely nervous…because hello shyness and social anxiety and introversion, all melded into me. so I did my best to prepare. I decided on two poems to read, poems that are personal, beautiful, and vulnerable. I’m proud of what they have to say and how they allow me to open myself in incredibly new ways.

Sunday arrived faster than I could process. I decided to not do any last minute worrying because what good could that do? so I took a walk around the park and treated myself to frozen yogurt. any excuse to justify fro yo 🙂

something happened within me between the time I sat in the audience as a listener and the time I got on stage to read. a confidence and determination I didn’t know I had sprung up and I was able to deliver my poems without tripping over my words, blanking out, or doing a complete disservice to my pieces. I’m proud of the outcome and glad to share it with you.

    the audience was so receptive and warm and loving. not to mention that the other readers before and after me were phenomenal. wow, the amount of pure talent and heart I witnessed that night continues to inspire me. women have so many stories buried within us and when we start to unravel and reveal them, they make for sweet, purposeful poetry. I’m extremely grateful for the Grow Fierce online writing course I took in January, and I wholeheartedly recommend it for women who are ready and willing to dig deep and really go there and uncover the depths of their souls.

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my roomie recorded my reading, enjoy the video below and let me know if you have any thoughts. be blessed loves ❤

oh and if the idea of a volunteer-run collective feminist radical bookstore sounds as amazing to you as it does to me [there are only about 15 in the U.S.], consider donating less than $10 to keep it going. help by buying one or more of these pretty buttons:

$2 each, $8 for all 4
$2 each, $8 for all 4