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Why I Write

Back in 2008, I made a conscious decision to love myself. I had come out of a rough relationship and had been making changes to my life for two years to heal from that and retrospectively, I guess I was also healing from a bunch of crappy relationships I had been in before the one I aptly deem as "The Worst". During "The Worst", I hadn't written anything creative for the duration of that relationship and I had been miserable not just from not expressing myself but also from enduring abuse and isolation in silence. Writing and the stage was part of my healing process. I knew I had to decide what I wanted for myself and writing poetry was non-negotiable in the pursuit of my best self.

Over the course of my life, poetry has pulled me out of some dark places in my mind and spirit. As a middle and high school student, I wrote all the time in and out of class. I literally cried into the pages of my notebooks sometimes. In some ways, it has been my conversation with God, concurrently a prayer and an answer. In other ways, it has served as a discovery of self and a board to dive from into deeper healing and understanding. I have no doubts about poetry contributing to my survival. Maybe that sounds a little intense but if Oprah ever asked me one thing I know for sure, that would be it. I also just wrote because I love(d) it. I scribbled new ideas on whatever pieces of paper I could find, a napkin, a receipt, a loose page, until I learned to always carry a notebook and pen. ALWAYS. In any case, here is why I write:

for the little girl inside me who fell in love with craters of the moon

for all the days love

did not show and the days I learned

for the first time and again and again

to have the heart open wide and whole

for the stories I have yet to tell

for the stories I heal from

how trauma loses a little more control in my pen

for the woman I met on a Greyhound once

for the child who does not write but discovers

with my voice, a voice lives inside them

for ancestors whose words visit in dreams

and the shadow of crows wings in the kitchen window

for Marie and Colin

how possibilities evolve to become poet from poem

for the strands on my head

beginning to turn into wisdom

for the times I am not wise at all

for here and now

how the present always gives more than I understand

for understanding

for washerwomen

for Haiti

for what it means to be Black in this world

for generations I will never hold in my hand

for the ears who hear me

and the ones that do not

perhaps one day they will

for us

for hope

for being alive

for living

for breath

for the nights I cannot sleep

for when all I have left are the words

dancing to a hypnotic rhythm in my mind

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