Free write

I cannot sleep. I am thinking of you and the ocean you are in front of. How I am not with you. How I never will be. Again. I never told you that I heard God tell me you were mine. From that moment forward, I surrendered to that we were a thing to the most high. that we were stupid and young and full of hurt over past love. You are not as young as I thought. Not as young as you said. And there are always lies. Some, not intentional but there are always lies. The ones we tell ourselves are the most harmful because there is no protection against that.

I'm happy. Truly, but that doesn't mean I don't miss what I thought we had. You are as fucked up as they come. A beautiful mess. So magnificent from a distance but the closer anyone gets the more you unravel. The more you come undone. I always thought we would keep saving each other. Thought we'd make a life of coming to each other's rescue. Make a life out of each other's tattered heart. You never knew how to do long term. Never knew what to do with me. And that's what they all come to. All say it at some point. As if admitting it after the failure counts. 

I don't want to have a filter anymore. My writing used to be the place I could get free, then people started listening and naming me things I never said I wanted to be. And yeah, that fucks with the art. Starts to make you second guess and over think. What used to be effortless require a more labored process and I'm not with it. I've learned a lot but I'm not with it. So I'm starting over. I'm going back to only writing for me. This will be where I get free.  

Our love

You know our love is revolutionary
Two undead black things in love
Our hand holding
Tenderness
Kiss on neck
This love we make
Makes us stronger
Makes us unkillable
You know they killing us
In plain sight
Without reason
Killing us, for real.

After the church shooting

I wrote a letter to my love today 
Because I don't know what it will bring
Don't know if amidst his hallelujah a bullet will find him
If his tail light is out, he might be detained 
Or beaten or murdered by the law meant to protect him

I write letters to black man that I love a lot lately 
Tell them all the things: How I will miss them 
What I love most about them 
Because you never know what tomorrow may bring


My eyes don't cry anymore 
My heart can no further be broken 
I am mourning but praying 
Praying a prayer I should not need 
Praying for safety and protection 
Praying for God to have mercy on our souls 
We so evil 
So defiant 
So disposable, it seems 
And maybe I know nothing but of love and poetry and survival
Maybe I'm a dreamer but maybe we all need be 

I hope these poems find their way into the hearts of those made of hate 
Made of rage and hopelessness 
There are no bullets that can kill the sprit 
Can't kill soul but you keep trying
Reload yet again we raise 
Resilient 
Brilliant 
Black 
We so beautiful. 

I Was Date Raped

Originally posted to FB on May 23, 2015

Exactly 12 years ago today I was date raped, in the backseat of a car by a person I thought I was safe with because he was a member of my then community. I never pressed charged because I didn't feel my community would have supported me. I felt I would have been victim shamed, I did not feel I had allies. I waited several months before telling anyone it even happened. To this day I have only told a handful of people the whole story. I have written poems which highlight the most of it but it is rare to get an opportunity to share fully. 

Tonight, I shared my experience and poems at a "Take Back The Night" event hosted by Caltech. I love how life brings me full circle. 

All these years later, I am a member of many communities, all of which take a stand on big issues and make it clear what is acceptable. I know I am safe to share my story knowing I will be listened to, I will be supported and the validity of my experience never questioned. 

We must do a better job at educating ourselves and our children. We must be bold in talking about and naming our pain. We must or we won't heal. 

For anyone going through any kind of abuse and is in needs of help, please know I will always help you. I have resources and contact with amazing people who can help. You are not alone. 

I ask YOU, FB friend, to consider how you might become an ally. How might you stand for the often voiceless victims of abuse? Where is your privilege and will you use it for those without it? 

Thank you for reading this, for supporting me and for being an ally.

*For support and or information: rapetreatmentcenter.org or call 424.259.6000 open 24/7 and for assistance in your area call RAINN is a national victim assistance organization, at 1-800-656-HOPE. RAINN will connect you to a rape crisis center in your area.

30/30 day 2

LISTEN: 

READ:

My beloved 

 

Last night I cried on the floor of a church 

Cried, next to you 

These are the things I've prayed about

 

There I was

Connected to your Jesus by proximity 

Calling His name in song 

His name, familiar 

I have always loved Him

The way I love 

In secret. 

 

Last night you cried 

On the floor of a church 

Cried, next to me 

These are the things I've prayed for 

 

There you were connected to Jesus 

Calling his name in song 

His name, Beloved 

You have always loved him 

The way you love 

In the silent moments

 

Last night I cried on the floor of a church 

Holding the hand of my beloved 

My heart cried out Thank You, Jesus. 

 

On the other side of truth

I have come to know myself as brave in places. In my writing, on stage, when planning my career. But when it comes to matters of
the heart... my bravery is often delayed. I sit on my truth waiting for the perfect moment and even when it comes, sometimes I still wait. That is what fear feels like to me. Mouth shut with a million words swirling in my head, skin bubbling with emotion and no one knows but me. I will put it all in a poem, I will declare my love at a show to a crowd of strangers but in the quiet lull of after dinner delight, when the moment arrives words fail me.

Yesterday, after deeply contemplating what I might say to someone I love, I took a deep breath and went for it. I said ALL THE THINGS. And I didn't die. In fact, I felt heard and understood. It is a lovely day when you can openly share your thoughts and feelings with little fear of what the other person might say.

I share this with you, to remind you to love hard and in plain sight. To say the things that scare the shit out of you because the joy on the other side of truth is gorgeous.

Yours & mine,

Natalie

natalieispoetry.com