“when someone adores you, look at this person.
look carefully and see who they are after a long
day of not seeing you.
because what you want is not to have somebody
who hurtles a sonnet down your throat—
who forgets you told them it was sore before they did it.
you do not want someone who pins you down on your
bed and kisses your temples and calls this his prayer for the day
but becomes a non-believer for the next 18 hours.
but somebody who picks up the phone when they leave
the place that has caused them to be separate from you.
who, after a long day, simply says ‘I’m coming home to you.’”—Salma Deera, Lessons From My Grandmother #3
“Once you start to speak, people will yell at you. They will interrupt you, put you down and suggest it’s personal. And the world won’t end. And the speaking will get easier and easier. And you will find you have fallen in love with your own vision, which you may never have realized you had. And you will lose some friends and lovers, and realize you don’t miss them. And new ones will find you and cherish you. And you will still flirt and paint your nails, dress up and party, because, as I think Emma Goldman said, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.” And at last you’ll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking.”—Audre Lorde
“to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you’ve held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.”—"The Thing Is," Ellen Bass (via commovente)
“There are words
I had given up on
from the cliff of
my tongue; you
have pulled these
from within me,
I am remembering
what it is to be a
part of something
beautiful.”—among the many things you have done to me, Emma Bleker
Too many men look at me like I owe them something, like the word ‘beautiful’ should mean something to me just because that’s how they choose to describe me. Too many men think that the black heels I wear to the grocery store is my way of saying, “Look at my legs. Do you like the way my dress hugs my curves?” When the truth is I just got off work and need some fucking beer and bread. Don’t look at me like that, the only reason my lips are painted red is because I ran out of Chapstick and this was the only thing I could find in my car.
I once dated a man who said that for Valentine’s Day all he wanted was me in red lace. He said that I would taste like chocolate, that he wanted to show me just how good love can feel. He talked like his sex skills were the best gift he could give me. I wore black lace and showed him how it feels to be fucked harder than the night he lost his virginity to a stripper. He said I tasted like mystery and black coffee as he got down on his knees to find his boxers. He said he couldn’t find the taste of chocolate on my neck. That was the morning he realized that being a man had nothing to do with ‘how hard you can fuck’. If that was the case, I would be ten foot tall and bullet proof and one hell of a guy with nice boobs.
One time I fell into the arms of a drunk man who claimed that he loved me afterwards. He called me a bitch when I said I just wanted to be his friend. I told him if me giving him my friendship made me a bitch then me giving him my heart would make me a cunt from hell. That was the day I stopped kissing boys who had to prove that they were men and started holding hands with men who didn’t realize they turned heads when they walked by.
Love rests in the heart and is spilled from your throat.
Lust rests in your pants and prefers to not ask for a name.
One day those men will realize that sincere, kind words
are the way to a woman’s heart, not a good fucking.
One day those men will realize that their Adam’s apple
is the forbidden fruit,
not their dick.
”—when he asks what drawer you keep your lingerie in//d.a.h (via whisperingbones)
“love him as a person starved.
love him good. love him clean.
show him gentleness and take care of him,
but when you are done, girl, you bury the bones.
do not let them rot above the surface.
always remember to give love a funeral,
and pray that it stays buried beneath your feet.”—Salma Deera, Lessons From My Grandmother #2
She’s something to write home about, so you do.
You slip her name into every other sentence of your letters because you like the way the syllables of her name coalesce against the snowy white of the page.
Your parents keep your letters, but they ask about the rest of your life.
You try to tell them, but all that comes out is her.
Your father reminds you that one day she is going to stop loving you.
There are things you don’t like to think about.
You remind your father that one day he will die,
that one day the Sun will burn out and the Earth will stop spinning.
You remind your father of the impermanence of all of this.
He says that none of his fears will happen during his lifetime.
You say that maybe yours wouldn’t either.
Your mother says she can see her in your eyes, in your smile.
Your mother’s gaze drifts down to the blood beneath your fingernails and the bite marks on your thighs.
Your mother asks, “she’s everywhere now, isn’t she?”
You point to the cross dangling from her neck and say,
“Your Savior is too.”
You love her so much that you are scaring them,
but you’ve never been less afraid.
You kiss her and your hands don’t even tremble.
Oh God, you love her.
Oh God, you’ve never been this brave.
“I got it in my mind a long time ago that the poem lasts a lot longer than I do and so who gives a fuck about me. That the poem very well could do things that I couldn’t do. That the feeling I feel when I read poems is way better than any experience that I had had with a human being”—Jericho Brown, interviewed by Kendra DeColo for Nashville Review