what do you know
about bathing
in sunlight
have you felt it’s
warmth embrace
your skin?
let the gaze
of blazing
even the
darkest parts
of yourself?
this is how
you know
you’re alive
this is how
you know
you rise
day after day
you rise
you rise
you rise

but even when you set
you are just as radiant

what do you know about
strolling in moonlight
have you felt
by its changing faces?
they are only cycles,
crescent means
you have more to grow
and there is still light
teaching you the brilliance
of the glow carried within
from your skin
this is how
you know
you’re alive
and night after night
you still rise
you rise
you rise
you rise

raise your girls with these words:


courage runs in your veins
you are birthed from generations of women
who have learned to carry swords like
their blood carries oxygen,
who wield their tongues as artillery
and write their wisdoms down in a book called survival
b r e a t h e
in your ancestry-
speak as they do,
stand erect with a spine built from the history they have left you,
never broken
prove you are worthy of this war,
that your body is worn like indestructible armor,
that the enemy will never be able
to draw their weapon first
because you strike at their hearts
with peace and love packaged in womanhood
a gift-do not let them tear at your wrapping,
convince you of your worth,
reduce you to dirt-
you will grow from remains of ashes,
fill your lungs with strength,
inspire the poison and know
your existence is the antidote.

Reflecting [iii] | History

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“I stopped giving him his medication,”
she said.
A slight pause,
a moment of hesitation.

“Our house burned down.
We have nothing left.”

I wish I offered comfort
In a silence heavy
with the unsaid.
But I was a student,
frozen by a struggle
I could not heal,
Regretting the words
I did not use.