Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Posts tagged “clothes

Without Love

where would i be without love?
perhaps shivering naked in a closet,
never having experienced touch;
or sleeping on park benches hoping to get mugged
because violence is at least physical contact
and physical contact sometimes simulates
or at least emulates

where would i be?
mouth devoid of four-letter words
and heart symbols to connect others to me,
interactions without laughter,
days without passion,
existence without meaning,
living without being,
a heart that’s not beating,
a soul that’s not healing,
a mind without imagination,
exchange without compassion,
summer without sun,
winter without Christmas,
holidays with no family,
a brain without sanity,
bare bones and flesh without a body,
eyes without tears,
no fun in conquering fear…

how could i possibly live there?!

i will build a house of love even if
all i can afford is a cardboard box without a roof
and newspaper to stuff the holes in my shoes.
i will clothe myself in patience,
waiting for love despite
my wrinkles and creases in the wrong places,
chase it til it strikes me like lightning
and just as i’m dying,
my eyes will be shining and i’ll know
it was worth trying
because life without love is death
so as i take my last breath,
i’ll just float away to live in another land that is safe
and enter the gate for those who chose to take the risk
that always comes with love

and be home.


Just to Impress You

just to impress you
i went out and bought some new clothes.
i figured if i dressed fresh enough, i wouldn’t have to be alone.
so i maxed out my credit cards and spent all my bread,
and when i walked past, you didn’t even turn your head.

just to impress you
i tried to lose weight.
so i went to the gym and tried to sweat away every curve in my shape.
i worked out for hours and my diet put me in the worst mood,
and then i found out your favorite thing to eat is soul food.

just to impress you
i got my hair pressed.
i figured maybe you didn’t dig my afro and thought it looked a mess.
so i got my hair done so silky straight that it bounced as i switched
and then i heard your last girlfriend was a natural chick.

just to impress you
i decided to perform a song,
so i called in sick from work so i could practice all day long,
i shook it like Beyonce and had soul like Joss Stone,
but when i looked out in the audience, you had gone home.

just to impress you
i decided to just be me.
and for the first time in forever, i finally felt free.
i stopped trying to trick you and allure you with lies,
and just like that,
i finally caught your eye.

What if I

*Written July 8, 2008*

what if i
promoted him like my favorite rapper,
quoted him to fit every situation,
tried to convince others to tune in
when people talk about him on radio stations,
said day in and day out that he’s the best alive and his words are so hot
and that they should listen and try to give him a shot?

what if i
talked about him like he was a new man
who surprisingly made my life so great that i can’t complain?
what if i rubbed him in the faces of everyone around me
so that they would be all too familiar with how his love is insane,
so much so that they don’t even have to ask why i’m smiling,
they just say “There she goes again with whats-his-name”?

what if i
wore him like a fly outfit
that i wanted everyone to see,
purposely walking past perfect strangers three times with him on
just so they could note the beauty that is he,
and how he looks just oh-so-great on me
like an expensive pair of jeans that make my shape look oh-so-right,
that they could all benefit from if they’re willing to pay the price?

what if
i just kept him all to myself and hid him away?
i think that is what i do because every time i begin to feel unashamed,
i face different setbacks and life pushes me astray–
my pride, my doubt inside, and my emotions all cloud my view
so that by the time i think of mentioning him,
the time has passed and conversations are through…

i no longer want to be a fake fan, a false lover, or perpetrator…
i wanna shout out my love for Him to every friend, family member, and hater
promote him like he’s sunshine after seven days of raining,
wear him on my heart, stop hiding and start proclaiming
that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life
and maybe if i stop keeping him secret
more people will want to give Him their life
and maybe if i speak up
i can truly honor the one who changed my life
and maybe if i share what He’s done for me
people could find purpose in their life
and maybe if i just open up my mouth and share
they can know

Life Play

*Written July 7, 2008*

why do you play with my life, baby?
you enter and leave my presence as if my heart were an airport
and you have stocked up on frequent flier miles.
why do you play with my life, baby
as if i were a joyful infant
anxiously awaiting your face, your touch, your care?
i am not a toy, i am not a fly outfit,
i am not that old favorite pair of sneaks in the back of your closet
that you pull out from time to time because you miss them.
i am a woman. i have needs
which don’t include riding on your every whim,
hanging on to your every word,
adjusting to your every mood,
answering your every call,
accepting all of your mistakes.
i am no fool, at least not anymore.
i refuse to stay stagnant, to allow my heart to jump
when you decide to pick up the phone and check on me.
my life is worth so much more than an “I miss you” every three months or so.
my life is worth love, companionship, acceptance, encouragement, sacrifice,
love, love, and love
not your poor excuses for life, for your mishaps in the past
that to you were just slips but to me stabs.
go play with someone else’s life or better yet your own.
look in the mirror and put yourself down,
neglect you, lie to yourself, require and demand too much of yourself,
take up all of your own time, ruin your own credit, cheat on yourself,
get locked up and visit yourself every weekend,
disappoint yourself, ignore yourself,
insult yourself and make yourself cry and then
after you’ve done all that
ask you to get back with you and see what the answer is.
play with your own life, baby
cuz mine is too serious for that.
it’s much too precious for me to get involved in your haphazard games
so despite all you have done, i will love you but from a distance
you cannot play with my life, baby.