Jan 05
poem challenge: CJP-Iran

Ey Iran

We watch the news and 

There are angry tears 
a lot, nowadays. 

Being an Iranian 
in America is terrifying 

knowing that both the countries
you are a part of hate each other
poisons you from within.

My mother prays for the people
who are detained at the border
who share our stories, 

share our features,

share our country.

My father prays for our family,
for all the people left behind,
who share our faces,

share our blood,

share our love. 

I pray for ourselves because 
they taught us what happened during
World War II and

you can love the U.S.

but not trust it. 

I never realized how quickly this country
could change its mind about you, 
but then the travel ban happened, 
and now this, 

my people are not criminals, 
Nov 23

Courtrooms and hurt

Justice is not blind, 

justice knows the colors
painted onto our skin, 

justive knows the way 
men look at your dress, 

justice is familiar with
the way they twist your name,

justice has never been 

I want to tell you 
about real justice, 

about feet pounding in the streets
so strongly that the men in their cold castles
feel it in their very bones, 

about the burn of tear gas 
as it tears through your lungs and 
the bullets that tear through the air, 

about the chants that rattle through
your body until your throat grows hoarse,
power flowing through your body 

about the trash can fires in the streets, 
and the crackling flames you see in 
peoples eyes,

about the 50 people that disappeared
and how you don't trust unmarked cars now, 

let me tell you a tale 
Nov 19

suffocating(is just space)

white space is suffocating

i cannot tell you the first time 
i felt i was different. 

in fact, the inherent privelige of 
american white people is to be able 
to remember when they first felt out of joint, 
as if all their bones didn't quite 
fit in their skin. 

what i can tell you, 
is that one day i looked 
in the mirror 

and then at the american girls
surrounding me
and decided i was ugly. 

at some point 
i decided that i wanted 
to bleach my hair and 
straighten it 

and rub down my nose 
with a rock so it looked more 
like theirs or shave my legs 
so i had less hair, 

these (american white half irish white swedish 
my ancestors came over on the mayflower blond
blue eyed british) girls 
didn't know what they were doing. 

but the thing about white space is, 
Oct 07

give me back my fairy tales

Cigarettes entrance us 
because sucking poison through our lips
and letting the smoke puff out of our lungs
looks so much like the fairy tale dragons
that we never saw in real life, 

so we poison ourselves a thousand times over
offer knife sharp smiles when ask why,
hey, didn’t you hear? I wanna be snow white. 

there’s poverty in the way they walk, 
hungry eyes roam across an asphalt jungle 
and get stuck on the wires swinging from 
rooftop to rooftop, so much like pictures 
of a rainforest they saw but never touched, 

so they try to dream leaves onto 
non-existent trees, snickering as they say, 
i’m gonna tarzan across those wires one day, 
just you watch me, 

there's papers scattered around her 
as she dreams up worlds so vast that 
our universe looks more like a marble, 
stars coalescing in her dark hands, 
Sep 02

space girl

don't take up too much
girl, don't let your body
grow soft and
like the universe
around   you, because
only men are allowed
to take up as much
s   p   a   c   e
as they want,
and if your thighs grow together
like a
they will never want you.

don't let yourself take-up
too little space girl,
n o b o d y thinks that
ribs are attractive,
real women, real women,
they have curves
don't you want to be
a REAL woman one day, too?

be quiet, girl,
don't let those ideas of yours
E            P            O            E
       X            L             D
our of your mouth,
don't make THE MAN 
feel little, don't make him feel stupid,
l a c k i n g.
Jul 29

Tear yourself apart

Tell her that she’s beautiful, 
and watch her smile before 
she devours the compliment up 
lapping at every last honey drop 
at her fingers because she’s 
been starved for so long, 
and what is a girl without 
other people to tell her  
the value that she has? 

Tell her that she’s skinny 
and she will beam before 
looking in the mirror and tracing 
the outline of her ribs with 
her paper fingers, half human 
half ghost, so thin she’s almost gone
hunger was never beautiful, 
this animal eating her up from inside. 

Tell her that she’s hot and 
look at her short skirt like it’s 
the only part of her that matters and she’ll 
shoot you a grin before tugging down 
her dress as a sense of anxiety creeps 
in her mind because everyone knows 
what happens to girls with too-short dresses
walking alone at night, 
grips her keys between her fingers and 
Jul 26

take a step back


What will your legacy be,
when you're six feet deep and
gone who will keep you in their
memories, will the world mourn you
or will you pass away silently,
leaving nothing that says you were here,
nothing that says remember me.

Ask me what my legacy will be
as if I haven't already thought about it a thousand times
staying up late at night, writing out my rhymes,
trying to write out one that will go down in history because

when i grow up, when i grow up, daddy,

i want the world to see me,
remember me.

told since i was eight years old
that they knew someday i would change the world,

such a bright young thing, isn't she?

they tell me i will climb, they tell me i'll be powerful,
and then when i dream, tell me i'm too young to be thinking of
such things, and now my biggest fear
Jun 25

i won't forget

Dear America. 

I don't think you ever loved me, no, 
i lost that illusion a long time ago, 
maybe the people inside you cared a little, 
but you? I don't think so, 

Dear America. 

These countries stuck inside of me 
they're a part of me, i don't think you can see 
that i cannot give one up for you, cannot fight for you
against people who have my blood in their veins, 
this language on their tongue, 
my homeland's dirt on their boots, 
a mother's fear on their gun, 

Dear America. 

Please try to be patient with me, 
I know that you can't see a whole countries history 
written in my eyes, but next time just 
realize before you meddle that it might be justified 
later when they call death to your name, 
it's not because everyone in that country is one 
and the same as their government, no, 
it is because they might have been willing to forgive, 
Jun 15

Paint a flag on your skin

It was the most 
beautiful shade of 

the flag that 
was imprinted on her skin, 
right next to her eyes 
that shone brown. 

And then the 
king that had thrown 
a revolution of hate 
decided that he didn't like the fact
that she wore it so beautifully. 

This is the story of 
a people's rebellion. 

Once upon a time,

the king went through the kingdom
and ripped it off people, 
one by one, 
when he decided that they didn't fit
with what he thought was right. 

He looked at the people 
whose flags where still slowly
being drawn on, 
who had chosen it out of love 
or come here out of desperation 
and decided that the way that they 
clashed a little with the other colors
against their skin was 
an abomination and he tore 
the newly growing things off. 

He looked at the people
Jun 08

art is

Art is courage. 

Art is nights tearing at your hair 
because it doesn't sound right 
it doesn't look right. 

Art is stained hands and 
stained clothes and paper stained 
with tears. 

Art is pulling out pieces of 
your heart and dashing them out 
across paper, 
hoping for a good result. 

Art is bleeding fingers 
from practicing for hours, 
is bleary eyes and worn out 

Art is pushing until
something breaks, 
until you either give up 
or keep going until your body
bends to the shape you want it to. 

Art is daring to speak the truth, 
is getting locked up because 
people weren't ready for the truth yet, 

Art is challenging a dictator with 
nothing but a microphone, 
a paper and a pen, 
and yet making them look so fragile, 
so afraid. 

Art is forbidden words splashed