Understand from Life & Love: Volume I

Hi everyone! I hope you are doing well. This is one of the poems featured in my new release Life & Love Volume I. It is a poem that challenged me to tell another part of my story and the story of others, that we don’t always share with the world from fear, pain, hurt and many other reasons. If this has happened to you, you aren’t alone. If it’s happened to someone you know, understand their fear or pain is real and be there for them. You never know how far kind words or encouragement can go.



You don't get to tell me how to breathe,
What pain to feel,
Or the time it should take me to heal,
You're not in my shoes,
Suppressing the need to release emotions,
Trying to be strong on this roller coaster,
The darkness is not comforting,
Trying to hide behind the pain of it all,
Like saying no, and someone still climbing on top of you,
Naive to the fact that maybe that's just how men treat you,
You give, thinking that's how it's meant to me,
The root of your pain lies in the taking,
From little girl to woman,
Becoming transfixed and saying to hell with it,
You become ingrained in the confines of your own sex,
Thinking their arms can provide shelter,
From the flashbacks of the physical abuse and the first time,
You think everyone is out to get you,
Trust comes hard when so many men have hurt you,
To become invalidated and your pain thrown out the window,
Being told this is a man's world,
You should push aside your ego,
Massages turned to him climbing on top of you,
And you never speaking a word of it,
Because who would believe you?
When you invited him to your room,
Because you trusted the good in him,
And you didn't think that he would hurt you,
You don't get to tell me how to grieve,
How to feel,
How to release,
I won't just pray and sit on the sidelines,
When so many feel the same as I feel,
I can't sleep in the dark,
Nightlights have always been my friend,
A curiosity about sex that I've struggled with,
Damaged goods,
Used over and over because I hated being alone,
I found myself desperately wanting to be comforted,
Was told to pray,
God has a plan for you, anyway,
Just smile,
Silently hurting,
The battle cries of millions,
Put your hurt aside and smile,
You probably provoked him anyway,
With your tight jeans, or your short shorts,
Maybe he wanted to know why you was covered up,
Maybe he wanted to tell his friends, they should run a train on you,
Because you were incoherent,
Besides, no one told you to get that drunk,
If something happened to you, it was your own fault,
If he hadn't been there to overhear,
That'd be one more tragedy to hold dear,
He couldn't be there for the other times,
When you're a virgin, and he doesn't want anyone else to have you,
He physically assaults you and almost rapes you,
But gets caught, he stops for the moment,
Naive little girl, thinks it was supposed to be that way,
You don't get to tell her how to feel,
You don't know the emotions that raged through her,
Every man that ever claimed to love her, took advantage of her,
Her kindness was her weakness,
She always wanted to see the good in everyone,
She turned to pornography and alcohol addiction,
Her story is still being written,
The millions of others,
She feels their pain, too,
The backlash of others,
They aren't compassionate, too,
Blind to understanding and showing empathy,
When the tears are shed,
They aren't asking for sympathy,
Just to be heard and understood,
That they are people, too,
Yes, I am a woman,
We have voices, too,
Yes I, am black,
My life matters, too,
Yes, I am a minority,
No, I didn't come from Africa,
Truth be told, we are all immigrants on Native’s land,
Truth be told, we are all human and bleed red,
Truth be told, it could be your wife, sister,
Mother, brother, daughter, or son next,
Truth be told, people pray without acting more,
Truth be told, I mourn for every minority,
Everyone who has been affected in a negative way,
I am sympathetic and understand,
I am a minority in the palms of the land,
I understand the need to cry,
I understand you, but I am a Soldier, and I have my orders, too,
I understand you, 
You are not alone,
I understand when you doubt the God on the throne,
I understand that you don't want attention but to feel valid,
I understand your need to fear being alone,
I understand why you can become a prisoner in your mind,
I understand why you must feel forsaken anyway,
I understand your anger and why you want to fight,
I understand your pain,
I hear your cries,
It moves me inside and out,
I write,
It touches my heart and embodies my mind,
Please, don't think you have to commit suicide,
I've been there,
I understand, it hurts,
You and me,
We can change the world,
If no one else cares to listen to you,
If no one else cares to understand you,
If no one else cares,
I am listening...

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