How far have you walked for men who’ve never held your feet in their laps?
How often have you bartered with bone, only to sell yourself short?
Why do you find the unavailable so alluring?
Where did it begin? What went wrong? And who made you feel so worthless?
If they wanted you, wouldn’t they have chosen you?
—  Warsan Shire
Take one pint of water, add a half pound of sugar, the juice of eight lemons, the zest of half lemon. Pour the water into one, then to another several times. Strain through a clean napkin. Grandmother. The alchemist. You spun gold out of this hard life. Conjured beauty from the things left behind. Found healing where it did not live. Discovered the antidote in your own kitchen. Broke the curse with your own two hands. You past these instructions down to your daughter, who then passed them down to her daughter.
—  Lemonade, Beyonce
What I Don't Understand

I don’t understand why children are afraid of the dark.

Why my sadness is magnified as I sit on the swings of a park.

And I don’t understand why cold fingers feel as if they’re on fire,

or why the people that don’t notice us 

happen to be the ones we admire.

I don’t understand why some of us spend our time hating;

spend our time hurting, wishing, and waiting. 

There are an abundance of things I don’t understand in the world

but that only makes me love it all the more.

 -Mary Ann Brooks
when words fail, use your lips–
kiss her cheek and let her feel you tremble,
put her hand on your heart and let her feel it beat,
then let her know it beats for her,
your blood rushes through your veins to the fingers you use to feel her soft skin,
your hands only know her touch and your cheek only knows her lips,
when words fail, use your lips–
caress her body with your kisses,
let her hands know the softness of your touch,
use your lips to let her know she is yours,
when words fail, kiss her.
—  sm. 11:47 am / 7.26.15
New Woman

So you’re 11 years old.

And you just got off of Facetime with your best friend

Because your mom is yelling at you to go to bed.

You put on your favorite PJ’s, brush your teeth,

Rest your head on your fluffiest pillow.

Then turn the TV on to Full House because

You think Michelle is clever. 

You fall asleep peacefully with the TV on

And dream of taking Comet out on a walk

While talking about pranks with Michelle…

You wake up suddenly.

Something feels weird…

There’s a wet stickiness between your thighs.

You reach down and feel an unfamiliar texture.

You rip your blanket off to find that you’re lying in a pool of blood.

And thus begins the cycle, woman.

Woman? At 11 years old? Apparently…

At 17 years old, I can tell you that it is no easy task to be a

“woman.”

To have your body tell you that you’re not pregnant by sending you bitter cramps and erratic mood swings .

To sit through long classes with an aching abdomen when you forgot your Advil at home.

To have men constantly attribute any emotions you show to “that time of the month” regardless of whether you’re on or not. 

To be woman is to experience cycles.

To be woman is to listen to your body.

To be woman is to endure, endure, endure.

To be woman is to give life.

To be woman is to give love, comfort, support.

To be woman is to lead. 

To be woman is to break records, shatter barriers, INFILTRATE STEM fields. 

To be woman is to serve one’s country. 

To be woman is to run for office. 

To be woman is to make a change starting from self.

You, new woman, are a strikingly, influential being. 

You can do anything, regardless of what time of the month it is. 

Welcome.