Every part of this combination is like watching a glass of water slip through my fingers and shatter onto pavement. Reflections of all my ghosts stare back at me. In this scenario, I have two options:
1. I could try picking up the shards. Fix the glass. Refill it with water. I can tell myself it will never happen again.
2. I could step over the glass or sweep it away. I could walk forward. I could love myself for being honest, for trying to drink something good; for my hands shaking while my ghosts come rushing to me, all of them speaking of my failures at once.
when the wrong people have power.
My step-father came home, his Jeep whirred backwards into the driveway. I closed my legs, hid my journals, opened my door, pretended to read. Every part of me was a throbbing thumb. I wished that I could wander back into my thoughts full of teenage questions about romance, escape, sex. My step-father would never know it though. I refused to let him see my eyes, wide, brown, and thick with heart.
Small voiced and pious, "Yes sirs and no ma'am's" flooded my palette. As fear sat on the top of my tongue, depression hung from the roof of my mouth; they met in the middle. I folded my body into the deeper side of my lung and breathed my way through the garage door opening; the footsteps on the linoleum. I knew that he would go into his office and shut the door. He would not speak until the morning.
when we choose perfection over freedom.
He asked me if I planned to leave when we were married. I sat back in my seat, trying to swallow air. Throat raw from yelling back. Heart left on the dashboard like some child offering. Who knew that a bleeding heart could feel so natural when it has been so often left to dry?
I had only been in Knoxville for three months, which meant we'd dated long distance for only a year and four months; which meant I was still in high school for a year and one of those months.
"No," I said, unsure.
The moment shrunk me. Freedom tasted like the other side of that conversation, the part where I climbed out of his truck and ran back to my dorm. It was the part I didn't choose. It tasted like the salted water of the ocean he proposed to me next to. It was the part where I felt brave enough to whisper that I didn't know and that I didn't want to find out.
Can we give up the things that poison us, even when our shame promises to be fed?
I'm learning that in order to embrace freedom, I must be propelled by bravery. Bravery is the tightrope toward everything that makes my thoughts water. How can I choose a lesser life than this one whose voice sounds like home? It is a place so safe that broken glass can always be replaced. It is where the facet runs. I cup my hands and drink.
- Daring Greatly, Brene Brown | Book
- The Gifts of Imperfection, Brene Brown | Book
- Salt, Nayyirah Waheed | Collection of Poems
- Autopsy, Donte Collins | Collection of Poems
- Wild Beauty, Ntozake Shange | Collection of Poems
- On Loving in Spite of Trauma | Black Girl In Om | Podcast
- Embrace Your Narrative, Take Ownership, and Remain Patient | Black Girl In Om | Podcast
- Thriving > Surviving: Preventative Health | Black Girl In Om | Podcast
- Making Friends with Our Shadow: Why Reaching Wholeness Requires Work | Black Girl In Om Publication