june + july, as i experienced it.
travelling to Portugal and falling in love with the city. i remember returning and wanting to bring that character and confidence that i found in me home. this was also the month for academic freedom, knowing that i will not be returning to anybody’s school to read or absorb anybody’s teaching but life’s. preparing myself for living alone. The only vision i had when i thought about living alone was a home filled with plants (which i am only starting to live up to). learning that living alone is finding new rituals, new ways to experience self, acknowledge my personality. i am dealing with myself beautifully in this month, even whilst/after being tough on myself. it’s my sister’s prom in this month which brings us together to celebrate her ending high school. seeing her g l o w and celebrate the completion of her high school career made me more enthusiastic about my graduation, which i wasn’t even going to buy a dress for. baby sisters are for teaching and inspiring; a personal observation.
less fainter footed in this month. i try. i am discovering what i look like standing on my own two feet. living alone for real, for an entire month. hyper-vigilant but sleeping well. feeling safe. feeling out of place like everyone knows i’m not from around here in supermarkets. sunflowering my home. i graduate on the fifth day of this month and feel like royalty, like i earned my crown and myself. i experience so much on this campus, but to finish with a First Class BA English with Honours from a Russell Group University makes me feel like, i did something. something that cannot be taken away.
this month is financially tough times. like i never imagined. but, the warmth of my home was surreal. the area is strangely welcoming. finding the Caribbean settling in Smethwick comforting, hearing Jamaican patois on my way to supermarkets on sundays and feeling home. weight loss (accidental). frustration, loneliness always followed by phone calls and prayers. took ages for internet to be set up, so i took up painting. it’s a hard month,(always) for some reason that i can look into later, but the sun barely makes an appearance and i feel drained because of it. i try and surround myself in yellow as much as possible and i make it out okay. i make myself smile when i think of where i am, how i am where i once was desperate to be – starting a new chapter completely from scratch, on my own. Praise Yah.
Colour me in
The palette of yesterday’s guilt
Shade and shadow
What you are ashamed of
Darken and deepen
With your colours
Idly find me inside of myself
Because you have prescribed me this
And described me in monotones and monochrome and
Marked me up
Hailed me out
Cussed me out
Blacked me out of the portrait with your greys
And your blacks and deep blues
And those are the hues
That we are told
Tell us about the bad individuals.
When did this poetry book become
Everday, and yet
Never producing anything of use
When did i
Looking for ways to beautify this space
And cultivate other places
To rest my mind.
To assume that i could write lines
Etched on the inner corners of my sadness
And pull them out in spoken anecdotes
And call it poetry.
Never writing it down
To document and
Forgetting again and again
That I was not put here to silently survive
But to flourish
And write my way into that.
Finding new ways
Into my next self
With new combinations of words
And smiles that form mid rhythm
Finding my way back to myself.
Scoop yourself up
Gather your own loose ends
Lift your own weight
Of your own body
That is what you feel like
That is what God feels like
When (Her) fingertips grip and do not
Imprint or dent
This is how we went from broken body
The bruises only to remind you of battles fought
And battles fraught with intention.
If you are hurting
And you think
That waiting for the tears to dry will help you
then God help you
you will be deeply hurt,
those tears will not heal once dry
they will crack the face
leaving you dry then
when you need them
they will refuse to fall.
Have you ever noticed how black women laugh
Most of them
With their eyes shut
And their mouths wide
And their voice deep
And then trailing and then high
They’re used to laughing, all the time and so movement comes natural
They’re so absorbed in this moment it’s like they get the most out of it
As if they’re scared it won’t come again.
(the sun is in cancer)
“Cancer season is a homespun, heartfelt solar spell that will emphasize domestic bliss and family affairs until June 22.Heartfelt Cancer is the zodiac’s first water sign, plunging us into our most primal and important feelings and heightening our sensitivity. Cancer season can be a comforting time, but also a highly emotional one too.”
this makes sense. this season was a complete manipulation of emotions. this is a time for me and me alone to listen to myself. i fall in and out of love. manipulate myself into believe in myself and discouraging myself, finding weighty reasons for both. i feel so much. i move from living alone (and i mean completely alone, more alone than i liked) in our massive student house that everyone had moved out of before me. every single time i heard a sound i got scared. thinking over which window i had forgotten to lock. or the door, amara did you lock the door. how are you going to manage living alone. are you ready? are you ready, for real? are you rushing this process, do you need to move out, are you able?
i went from that, to living in my first apartment. managing myself. completely satisfied that i was safe and that Yahuah is my security (i have not rubbed the words of the blackboard since June 21st when I moved in).
The night sky hid all of our black woman laughter.
The ocean hid all of our black woman tears.
What you mean you dint see them fall?
You missed the sound- the magnitude, overload, crash, bang, phlup, the sound of another black woman tear pelting into the ocean,
You swim in it and swallow a little, choke a little on our tears, coughing a little on a whole ocean of pain.
(using my painting to help my writing was the best part of my evenings. i feel like i created something for and in myself that i need to pay attention to).
June-July 2017 done.
Thank you for reading what i write.