memoirs

NOW YOUR HANDS SO USED TO TAKING HAVE BEEN SHOT OFF.
2.8.16

when the people who’ve hurt
you and raped you and killed you
over and over and over again
one day demand compensation
for the things you’ve written
about them after these words
have made you wealthy, unlock
your front door. sit adjacent to it
in a stiff-backed chair with a
shotgun, and patiently wait.

CAGED BIRD

The free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom. 

Maya Angelou                    

There’s been a long history of African Americans being mistreated by the health care system. … the Tuskegee Study ended in 1972, that’s over 40 years ago, but a lot of the people are still living from back then. And for many people, there is this residual mistrust that often can manifest itself. I’ll see patients now [who] have diabetes and high blood pressure and they’re wondering [if they] are getting the right treatment, [or] they feel they’re getting some lower level care, when in fact, often times, they’re not.

I used to think I couldn’t go a day without your smile. Without telling you things and hearing your voice back.

Then that day arrived and it was so damn hard but the next was harder. And I knew with a sinking feeling it was going to get worse and I wasn’t going to be okay for a very long time.

Because losing someone isn’t an occasion or an event. It doesn’t just happen once. It happens over and over again. I lost you everytime I pick up your coffee mug; whenever that one song plays on the radio, or when I discover your old T-Shirt at the bottom of my laundry pile.

I lose you everytime I think of kissing you, holding you, or wanting you. I go to bed at night and I lose you, when I wish I could tell you about my day. And in the morning, when I wake and reach for the empty space across the sheets, I begin to lose you all over again.

—  Lang Leav, Lullabies
Autocorrect

If you type something enough, your phone’s autocorrect will learn your speech patterns. It’ll try to predict what you’re going to say based on what you say most. 

Lately, my phone has been predicting that every I is going to be followed by I love you.

That tells you something about what type of person I am. Sentimental at best, sappy at worst.

But I have deleted his phone number. I press backspace on the keys when I love pops up. 

When autocorrect discovers that I love you isn’t what I wanted, it decides that I’m okay is the next best bet.