Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Living Conditions


sweet smells from candles are sometimes
all that keep me at peace.
i want so badly to explore,
to pick up and go
to a place where i know no one
and reinvent myself.
it would be fun and scary at the same time
but i have a feeling
that i better capitalize on this life
while it’s still mine
because Lord knows
one day i will run out of time.

i can’t live in regret.
it’s a roach-infested apartment in the projects.
the cable is cut off
and the basic four channels have static.
a broken wire hanger
that leaves humps in the shoulders of my sweaters
controls the reception and connection
to the outside world.
this sub-standard hell-hole
isn’t even rent-controlled
and the expenses grow
each and every month.
rats run through the hallways
as if the humans are intruding on their domain.

no one is really at home in this filthy place
so i know that if i have the space and time
to grab at these plans of mine,
i will.
i will use them as a rope like Rapunzel’s hair
to get as far away as possible
from the place of empty stares
where nobody knows your name
because there are no cheers.

i desire to live in a mansion of
“i had the balls to do it.”
there, rose petals grace each and every hallway;
the sheets are satin and the toilet is platinum.
music plays in every room and i am consumed
by joy.
my family is there so i’m never alone
and there is no fear.

the decision is clear!
i refuse to stomp roaches of regret
and think that it’s best
that i get the courage
to go after all the success
i truly deserve to get.

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One response

  1. Oh I know this feeling all too well. I want a set of those balls myself. Enough dreaming, enough hoping – it is now the time for doing. As you so eloquently stated, one day, we will run out of time.
    Have a great day!

    October 28, 2008 at 12:04 pm

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