Recognize When Your Voice Is Full Of Ink

I learned that poems didn't have to rhyme

I learned that poems didn't have to keep up with time

I learned about poems like they were my best friends 

I knew how to make them happy or sad

I knew the different tones in their voices.

As the boys in school counted how many girls they could get through

I counted how many notebooks I could get through

And those boys that used me as just a number

I used as a page or two.


In college I took a class

And we did a unit on poetry,

When I found out how many people hated poetry

I felt personally insulted. 

But I forgot about how many people in this world

Know how to love or hate

Not how to learn to appreciate.


Anytime I am asked about dreams,

'Poet' tries to roll off my tongue

But I learned to build speed bumps on my tongue

And 'poet' forgets to slow down.

'Poet' turns into 'undecided'

And I don't know if I'd rather get that look of disapproval

For being unsure

Or for being sure of what I love.


There was never a moment where I sat myself down and said

"You are going to write poetry

And it will haunt you.

And you will never be able to think the same again

But this is your life now."

There was never a moment where I sat my parents down and said

"I am going to be a writer."


These are my bones on these pages

If you flip to page 12

That right there is my stomach

And if you look closely

My eyelashes are spread throughout the margins,

I never got to wish on them.

What you read right there

Was an entire year of my life

And that pen that you said writes really nice,

That is not a pen.

That is my voice.


So read these words if you'd like

Read my life as metaphor and similie

Read my pain as dripping ink

And read my happiness as a movie in your head.

Just know that my 2nd grade teacher told me to never stop writing,

My best friend introduced me to slam poetry,

And my grandpa used to talk in Shakespeare.

If you enjoy these words,

Never stop reading.

And if you enjoy your own,

Please keep living them.

This poem is about: 
My family
My community


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