If I don't speak

And if I don’t speak my truth I’ve learned that

eventually, the unspoken words will sting my chest.

like juice that went down the wrong pipe,

something that was supposed to be sweet but isn’t anymore.


They will sit there until they are free and feel like they are burning.


When all of what people want me to say and what I think I should say is gone,

when everything has burned away only I will remain and I will still be whole.


Other people will always find something in your art,

They may come up with meanings that you never thought of

You may not find your meaning until years later, until the paint has dried.


The words I want to say will say will feel like breathing stalled.

They will feel like breath held in my lungs so long, so painful.

I’ll always feel every moment the words cling to my lungs.

I’ll feel them sitting there like the clock is ticking backwards.

Like God won’t reset it until I speak them.


When I expel words, when I let myself breath I feel so much lighter.

The greatest thing I’ve ever done for myself and for others is be honest.

When I hold space for my own truths I hold space for others.


Poetry has taught me that I always know what I need to say

And that eventually, I will say it and the world will not break when I do.


I say my once unspoken prayers, my confessions, the odes to apologizes

I wish I had been given, from myself and from others.

I share my love and I can finally see other people’s love,

and how the world loves us back, and how it spins, and how it spins.


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