All Library locations will be closed Monday, June 19th for the Juneteenth holiday.
Today I am taking down my closet doors.
With my Dad’s old screwdriver, a little elbow grease,
And the sweat that will drip from my pores,
I will welcome the old me to the new one.
taught me how to hide my curls
in a cloak of shame.
told me I should cry every time my eyes
landed on the details carved into my brown face.
constantly reminded me I wasn’t in close enough proximity.
What will you let yourself know?
And what will you put in boxes
Hoping it won’t spring up again
My attic is full of chests that I’ve battered in
Locked and guarded
That I’ve known I couldn’t see
Without ever looking inside
When you asked me who I thought you were and I didn’t have an answer, I was worried. Why does my brain not instantly generate poetry when I think about how beautiful you are? Now that I have an answer I am terrified.
My mother mourns leaving her own country so deeply it runs through her veins into mine. Bangladesh is what she knows and what she loves. She spends her time showing me her culture: spinning through dances, running through poetry, and wading through history.
Giggling, Aditi grabs my hand and twirls me along as her ghagra’s elaborate mirror embroidery catches in colorful lighting.
But you need it, you said. I thought you wanted to be beautiful. I slammed my hands on the wheel of your Land Rover and pulled over to the side of the road near the big houses with green lawns and trampolines, Norfolk Way.
I am from
the expressions of my people
flattened nose and slits for eyes
leathery skin and cricks in my back
each feature of mine
a reflection of my family heritage
Embers in my hair, black dust getting to my lungs. Red, yellow, purple, blue fire in front of me, behind me, beside me. Above and below me. Within me.
It’s 10 pm on a cold-for-California winter night, and there’s nothing I want to do more than to leave the ice cream shop. I drag the mop along the floor behind me, letting its weight act as an excuse for my lack of movement.
I am from hard worn leather beneath my feet.
Watching my second home from my favorite place,
4 feet above the ground.
From sounds of gymnastics filling my ears
to a layer of chalk and sweat that coats everything from my
legs to the inside of my throat
Typing the conclusion of my English essay,
in a loud, dimly lit coffee shop,
I peer over my laptop screen
and see the type of girl you only see
We live on our floating planet,
this hunk, this rock,
we are so small.
Hearing the phantom calls of the organ,
And the soft murmur of the church choir,
Awakened from sleep with a feeling she couldn’t describe,
She got out of bed and followed it outside.
A careful mist lay over her small town, a light shield of protection.
A class clown attempted murder today.
A mother’s little boy,
a child’s best friend,
a teacher’s beloved terror,
stood over the monster who raised his freckly faced son
like the animal he’d become,
clutching a knife.
All the things inside of me, swimming in my soul,
Show on the outside, like a see through glass bowl,
My clothes are colorful with a comfy fit,
Showing my humor, style, and wit,
My athleticism is shown also by my clothes,
Basketball shorts and all,
Sometimes things are not the way they seem
Say an M&M for instance, its candy coated on the outside
But chocolate in the inside.
Some say they are lonely in the inside
But so busy out there.
Some look in the mirror and see a whole new person
My outside a shy, colorless human being
Soft spoken and gentle as can be
How I appear “perfect” and “flawless” as can be.
However my only flaw may be how I have another person
Wanting to be set free...
I look at them around me
Those who with my choices disagree
My eyes drop
Quickly judging what they see.
Alone am I to every degree
I never use the pronoun “we”
Locked out without a key,
My mind confused. My body unable to move. My blood
gone cold. My face turns pale. I look in the mirror to see no
one no reflection the reflection that I once saw was that of a
girl that was fake had no love for anyone but herself my life
Though I am not great
I have become a name*
The problems I’ve faced
The tasks I’ve completed
Have made me this name