To Be Black

April 20th, 2020

To be black is to be
And accounted for
To be bold, brave and beautiful
Being black is to be

Cause they look at us as if we ain’t breathin

The very oxygen we have being PRESSED out of the very bodies they beat
To gasp the air they said we’re lucky to even breath

Nothing is free.

Doesn’t matter that our roots are embedded in the soil we all walk upon
Our roots go deeper than the trees
Reach further than the leaves
Damn our roots can be found within any body you see
Black people are the REASON you breathe

Ohhh but we are alive
The black shadow that they tried to hide
Has learned to unveil itself even in the darkest of times

When locked away to constantly live in that of night
You learn what it means to be your own light
We are
Shooting stars
We are good damn street lights
Because even when the world kicked us out
We always knew when it was time to come home
For our roots run deep
Vibrate beneath our very feet

Can you hear it?
Our very heartbeat?
The sound of bare feet running for freedom
For LIFE It is that of a drum
That of a trail
That of a fight for life!

Ohh to be black
To be black is to breathe
To be black is to be free

Ohhh to be black
To be black is to breathe

The Undeserving

When you try forgetting him but you can’t 
Remember he was never really all that
Remember he loved to talk .TO. you but never with you  
And when you would text him he would never reply back  
The best time to get his attention was drunken nights  
Saturdays to be more exact  
And although you’d always find yourself looking in his eyes  
He never found his way to look back  
Remember that no matter how amazing he could sing and play guitar  
He never strummed the right tune with you  
And even though you thought you were getting comfortable with him  
He made sure not to get too comfortable with you  
He apologized for letting it get too far  
As if the feeling of feeling was too bazarre
Yet he crawled back when you invited him over  
Dropped his apology when you gave him permission to use his boner  
You two never spoke again  
Only the hickeys stayed behind and felt as though they bled  
You told people you hated him 
Though you longed to be his friend 
You never wanted anything more  
Just someone to talk to and maybe occasionally score 
But lunch and a coffee was too much to ask  
Remember that every time you offered he always said he’d pass  
Yet you thought he may have cared 
He would softly scan every curve with his hand  
Even loved your messy curly hair 
But all you can assume is that it was an illusion  
That all he wanted was sex and never saw you as anything resembling human 
You looked at him as someone to groove with, he looked at you as a body to move with 
It sucks  
A lot 
Yet, remember for every guy that screws you over to never fill yourself with hate  
Meeting this boy taught you to let yourself feel for once and never force something that is meant to fall into place  
So when you try forgetting him but you can’t  
Remember he never deserved you because he never gave you a chance

MAMMA: Poem & Performance

My mamma 
Oh my mamma is like that of wind 
She knows how to make you feel kisses from a distance 
Take a falling leaf and let its veins write you a love letter 
Oh my mamma can speak to birds 
She makes sure they say good morning from my bedroom window everyday 
Let it be known…my mamma don’t play 
And on the day’s I’m feeling lonely 
She’ll make sure the world has a playlist ready to make me dance 
Twirl around and remind me that I’m my greatest romance
Oh my mamma resembles trees 
Home to many, but has embedded its roots within me
Ancestral ties
She says, “Never forget the women who have given you life”
Oh my mamma is a river 
A place to bathe in love, but come out an olympic swimmer
Oh my mamma knows the ways of the sun 
Whispers its warmth in her original mamma tongue
Generational queue

A line of women that bear the world, and yet see it in you
Oh my mamma has made mistakes 
She learned the ways of a needle and sewn them beautifully on her cape
No she cannot fly
She taught me how to stand my ground and when to stride on by 
But most importantly, my mamma says shes proud of me 
Tells me I’ve helped make her into the woman she never thought she’d be
And I’m so happy to see 
Little parts of my mamma sprinkled in me 
And I know a day will come 
When I too will have to learn the original mamma tongue
And I will send the wind, drop a leaf, speak to the birds, and be a tree 
To be all the amazing things my mamma was for me 
Because each time I share the story of how my mamma was that of mother earth 
A flower is planted, and love is birthed.

Kit Kat Love

I want a kit kat kind of love  
The type of love where we are still a single unity on our own.  
Still good separated  
Even better to be shared 
But known to be together  
I want to feel like I’ve been dipped in chocolate  
Devoured like I’m rich 
We are to compliment each other  
Our love is to be paired with wine  
Feel like we are indulging 
Yet slowly losing our minds  
Bottle by bottle  
I want you to make me dance  
Hmm a little tune  
We are delicate  
Should be handled with care  
Though still capable to be inhaled like a woman craving us once a month  
Like I am to crave you  
Once a month  
We will remind each other that we aren’t crazy  
That we were made for each other  
Prepackaged with each of our own destiny that happened to melt together 
We are to be the anticipation a child has when coming home after  trick or treating  
We are too impatience to check the wrapper, you are worth every possible danger 
We are to simply “just make sense”  
Like a kit kat to its bar  
Our love is to come in fun size and in king  
You already know I am a queen  
A little crunch with every step  
A little snap in every bite  
Our love is to be addicting  
A warning on our label  
A love one should splurge on for the simple fact it makes you feel good  
I want a kit kat kind of love  
Unraveled slowly  
And enjoyed piece by piece  

I Need You To Know

To the people who say they love me  
Please stop asking how I am because I hate lying and somehow it still shocks me you have to ask 
I need you understand the person you fell in love with has died  
She is gone 
Know that who I am now is someone you will not love easily  
Someone that will pain you to love, because it hurts me to even breath  
Kills me to be alive, and trust me…loving a dead girl is hard  
But I need you to see this  
I need you to look at the body   
Take in the evidence and see the crime scene that lays upon me 
Take a picture if you like and burn it  
Let the flames rise high and make it a ritual  
A ceremony  
Just make it something tangible  
Make it real for me 
Be the light that looks down into the darkness and waves to my soul that sits at the bottom  
Drop down notes that softly flutter toward me, making me reach for something  
Acknowledge that the old me has passed  
Because I am grieving an unsolved homicide  
A murder that is both tragic and ongoing  
When you ignore my depression, my loneliness becomes more concrete 
Like cement that has been laid for you to walk on 
I need you to look down and see me before your feet  
Pick up the gravel that I feel I am and let me fall between your fingers 
Let me fall  
Witness the accident  
If you can slow down and look at the horror of two cars collide  
Then you HAVE to be able to slow down and look at the horror that is me  
You HAVE to  
Grieve with me, be scared with me.  
Because I too am going through the stages  
I want her back just as much as you do 
But my happiness will not return when you hold on to the parts of me I no longer know  
If you say you love me 
I need to know it’s possible for you to love all of my reincarnations 
I’m sorry if it’s tiring  
I’m tired too  
Which is why I need you to stop asking the question that pains me to answer 
So please, just know  
I’m not okay  
You will know when I am  
Because the girl I am now too, will eventually die and a new me will be born  
And I hope, you will have to share your love, with her own. 

Check Yourself

To the boy who said,  “I’ve never fucked a black girl before” 
As if the spreading of my legs has anything to do with my race 
As if the melanin make up in my skin is a deciding factor of worthiness for love 
I am not an exception 
I am exceptional  
I am a curly haired goddess who just learned to love herself 
To be honest I’m surprised he looked at me as black  
Many times I am lost in a void of confusion 
Stuck in the middle with neither side of the moon pulling for me 
But I am not a wave 
I am the sand it tickles through 
Majority say I speak with white eloquency but rain black thunder like a lion with my opinionated thoughts. 
I come from the diversified unification of my parents and I am proudly a steady makeup of both of them… I am me 
Many times I’m told who I am based on how others see me 
“Girl don’t act like you’re black” 
I am not exotic  
I am not an animal  
I am my own being   
I am a queen 
And no man will step in my palace who thinks I am nothing more than a check mark on his bucket list  
Don’t question my throne, I will fuck your day up 
Whatever you think I am…I am all of it and much more honey 
I will not let your ignorant infested mind, sicken me with your stupidity  
I will not let your bitterness take away my sweet succulent love 
I am more than just a girl with a pussy  
I am more than just a BLACK girl with a pussy 
My womanhood is the sun and my rays will never shine its warmth on you  
If you look at me as your first time for anything other than losing your virginity, fuck yourself and check that shit off your bucket list 
How many more times do I have to have a good conversation cut short because of dumb foolery 
Obviously too many 
I’m tired of counting 
I’m tired of meeting guys who are infected with a URT 
Undetected Racist Thought  
A disease the holder is unaware of but passes that shit along 
I am a girl who comes from a white mother and a black father  
I come from the descent of backbones made from shards of metal lashes and I am capable of more than you could ever imagine to put on your bucket list 
I am not a colored object you can check off 
I am a woman strong enough to know when to cut boys like you off… 
I am all I am and that is enough  
He said “I’ve never fucked a black girl before” 
I said, “I won’t be your first.

The True magic of christmas

December 22nd, 2018

As I lay in the comfort of my home, surrounded by family during the holiday season, I can’t help but feel warm. This is one of my favorite times of the year, because for me…it is when I feel the most present, while reflecting on the past, and becoming increasingly excited for the future.

With time, I’ve realized I no longer write a Christmas list or send letters to Ol’ Saint Nick. Instead of telling my mom what I want for Christmas, she has to ask and the season becomes less of what I want, and more of what I should get others. And although that may sound like a good thing, I feel it is not. Of course it feels good to get someone something that will make them happy, and I feel (I hope) it is not so much the gift but the person who is giving it and the person who is receiving it. Nonetheless, it is a time where some feel intense pressure when buying presents. Now as I return home for the holidays I’m eager to spend time with family and friends, reenacting all my favorite traditions I did as a kid. It’s moments like these you wish you appreciated more when you were little because you look back and remember doing things with people who are no longer here…that as I’ve grown up, others have grown old.

I love the holiday season because it is, and always has been about the magic. Sure, as a kid I was excited about toys, but even more so I was filled with the joy of Santa, and his reindeer; to bake cookies and place a note next to the milk right by the tree. I remember doing it every year and having a parent, or aunt, or grandparent help me set up. Even though setting out milk and cookies was to further instill the Christmas spirit in me, it was something done together (and now I know, eaten by them). The magic was found in the fight against your eyes to keep them open, to hear the thud of a sleigh on the roof, to stealthily sneak down the stairs and see if the big man has come yet. That magic…that sweet, hopeful magic is the one thing that never goes away as you get older. I still feel it every time I come home during winter. And as you get older you realize the magic never was Santa, his reindeer or even the milk and cookies by the tree. The magic always is, and always has been instilled by family.

Ever year the thrill to jump out of bed and run towards the presents slows down. Everything that day seems to slow down. Presents have been bought, wrapped, given and torn apart. The crazy holiday hustle and bustle has finally come to an end. And I think that is the best part. I think that is the greatest gift Christmas has given me every year, and it gets better and better each year I get a bit older. Time slows down, and it is surrounded by those who matter most. Because nothing…nothing, beats the stillness that resides after the last present is opened, the food is eaten and only the soft music in the background keeps a steady beat. I truly believe it is one of the slowest times of the year, and what a better time to hold onto a single moment.

As a kid I used to believe that Santa would freeze time to travel the world and deliver presents. That was the magic of Christmas back then, and I’ve found that it’s still the magic of Christmas now.

A girl who still believes

The Language of Love

October 26th, 2018

On a late Thursday night I decided to watch a romantic high school movie. Of course, it was filled will drama, confusion, laughs, and love. Though as I watched, I actually enjoyed it. It was the first time I watched anything related to high school and love and well…didn’t gag or roll my eyes. Instead, I gushed….a lot.

I sat there for the first time missing high school. Missing the drama, the confusion, the laughs and yes…the love. To experience REAL complications in life instead of the made up ones in my head. Drama that actually existed and wasn’t the result of my fabricated thoughts. With this, I can’t help wonder if we weren’t childish in high school? Were we just living, learning, and putting it out there? Now, being older and unable to release our thoughts and struggles in the locker hallways, we are made to feel as though we have to keep them to ourselves; deal with our pain alone.

Take me back to when mistakes were socially acceptable. Where the cafeteria was the hub of gossip, and your trusted friends were your therapist. Where your heart would burst when talking to your crush. Where love was worth skipping class for. Worth fighting for. Worth quite literally, anything.

And now here we are. Made to pretend we are young adults who somehow know how to handle those same instances. Those same feelings in a “mature” manner…whatever that is supposed to mean.

I miss it…I miss all of it. Well…not ALL of it. I just miss the substance. The importance of your actions and words holding weight to someone else. Everything meant something.

I haven’t loved or been loved in so long, I’m scared I have forgotten how to. That I’ve forgotten what it feels like and will therefore not know when it’s right in front of me. When did love become so scary? When did the risk factor become more than getting caught texting your crush in class? I’m talking so scary you remove it from your life, change you first name and never look back. I’m not sure if I have given up on love, or cultivated a life that learned to speak a language without it. I’ve been left voiceless. Maybe that’s what love is. Loud, noisy and sometimes too much to understand. All I know is that a world with sound is so much more entertaining, than one in silence. But how do you make it so both don’t become unbearable?

Self love. When does it become, “I’m happy with myself” to “I’m happy without anyone”? If I push away all the love that comes my way is that a form of self defense or self harm? Tell me, is that really self love? How am I to know when I love myself enough to put myself out there? Love myself enough to risk the possibility of getting hurt for the sake of a new love. Is my own love not enough?

I’m not sure, but I know that even on the days I feel as though love doesn’t exists, I know it does. Like a ghost forever haunting my mind. Always there, always trying to make its presence known. And here I am doing everything in my power to believe it isn’t real. The positive? Love is a native language everyone grows up with and that is something that can never be lost. Perhaps deep within us. Perhaps dark. But there…always there and waiting to brought out for the rest of the world to experience.

Perhaps thats really what self love is. It’s not about learning how to love yourself. It’s about learning to share the love you’ve defined and hold within you, with others.

Learn the language of love and speak it.

Loneliness Doesn’t Discriminate: An Ant’s Perspective

October 11th, 2018

I recently read an article that socially isolated ants die at younger age than ants that are surrounded by others; that an ant will die quicker when lonely because it doesn’t know what to do and its body forgets how to function. It got me thinking…am I much different?

This isn’t a new find. Many animals react negatively to isolation, but the question is why? Must we surround ourselves with others to survive? If loneliness can cause an imbalance of energy in ants, making them unable to digest food properly, what does that mean for me? Will I die at a younger age because I am lonely, or am I lonely because I live as if I’m already dying?

No, I’m not lonely all the time. No, I don’t keep myself isolated from the rest of the world. Yes, I thrive in social settings. Physically, I am present. Mentally, I am absent. If my mind is hidden away, does that mean its energy will become imbalanced? Will I become imbalanced?If my mind should go…surly my body will next.

If so, at least I can begin to understand myself. Begin to piece together the reasons I am falling apart.

Recently, I have been traveling alone, returning home alone, and have done nothing but sit in classes and work on assignments…alone. In the past 72 hours I have said very little. Even as I write this I sit in silence. This morning I Ubered to class and tried speaking to the driver…tried. When I opened my mouth not much came out. I sounded sick. It was as if I hadn’t spoken in so long, I had forgotten how to use my voice. As if my body was trying to make the whole world feel like I should have stayed home. Was I slowly fading away? Was my voice the second thing to forget how to function, after my mind? Was I too an ant?

Will I die at a young age or have I already begun to?

Tiny or large, we all need love and I’m beginning to accept that no matter how much you love yourself it is not enough to stop you from starving. You cannot feel full with just one. Balance cannot exist without two. Without you, there is no me…without me, there is no you. By merely existing in the presence of others, you are given life and giving life.

I will love myself as much as I can, and will continue working towards loving myself more each day. That way, when it’s time for my love to be shared its energy will attract another equal in measure. A love that, when combined, is balanced, yet heavy.

I just hope it’s not too late. That I have more time than my fellow lonely ant. Because no one, not even a teeny tiny ant, should die…alone.

The art of silent commotion

October 2nd, 2018

As important as it is to find someone you can talk to, it’s just as crucial to find someone you can sit in silence with; have a shared sense of comfortability. The moments where no words need to be spoken because your presence already speak volumes. Love doesn’t require the unnecessary need to fill up space that is equally as beautiful being empty. There is no awkward silence. No bullshit small talk. Love is unspoken. Love is unbound. Love is a dark room with the muffled TV playing in the background. Blinding, all while guiding.

Opening yourself to love can be a scary thing. No one wants to get out of their warm comfy bed to check on the noise that is constantly ringing. That bed is soft, cozy, and has been warmed all thanks to your own body heat. You are capable to keep yourself warm, and that’s a miraculous thing. Yet, as you lay there, trying to doze off…that noise continues to be heard and as much as you want to ignore it, you know you’ll sleep so much better if you get up out of that bed and turn it off.

So as you fight all the evil illusions in your head, finally convincing yourself you are safe to get up alone in your own home, you do just that. You get up and shuffle your feet towards the sound. Eyes squinting, you lift your arms to reach for any sense of direction. Your hands are the only safety net you have, and you’ll be damned not to use them. As you near, the sound has grown so much you realize it’s okay to rest your arms and release your net. You stand before it, tired yet relieved. Allowing the noise to settle, and truly be heard for what it is…a song.

As you kneel down, surrendering yourself to the source of noise that once caused so much frustration, you reach your arm out and with the push of a little round button, you turn it off.

Stillness resides.

Alyssa Kinahan-Dundas