Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Posts tagged “happy

Sincerity


on my birthday,

i got a long voicemail from a friend.

midnight approached as i lay in my bed listening.

in the message, one thing she said was:

“I’m happy you’re alive…”

to my surprise came unexpected tears.

maybe it was how her voice cracked when she said it,

showing her sincerity

or just that

when someone who knows exactly how

close

you’ve been to death

acknowledges just how

far

you’ve come

simply by still being here,

life seems even more

extraordinary.

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Newborn Baby Tears for My Old Self


sometimes i still cry for the old me
and i feel guilty cuz
the new me is
happy.

but i miss the old me’s extremes–
blind faith and concrete
black and white ideals
until evil jet black pushed into petrified pink
surprisingly, painfully.

suffering isn’t ideal.
neither are tears and grief
for a version of myself
mummified by cries that came so often
that when tears ran out,
a new woman appeared:

tougher skin,
sharper words,
deeper melancholy buried in
soft soil of smiles
and brutal honesty.
she is beauty all while
crying internally,
confused at her existence:
a newborn baby
with a 25-year-old body.


2 a.m. Happiness


So happy for no particular reason.
No inciting action,
but this is my season.
Summer in his smile
melted winter in my heart.
We’re spring.


Old Me


i now sometimes wonder where
the old me went.
did she die a miserable death
to match her painful existence?
or does she live in my chest,
keeping my heart beating
through reminders of what she used to be?
or maybe she still lives in me,
a skinny, emaciated girl
underneath the skin of a woman
who smiles even when she’s sleeping now.

her tears keep me hydrated
and her scars only make me more beautiful.
her pain i wear like a necklace of rememberance,
perfect pearls all unique. wherever she went,
i’m happy she’s not as present
when i look in the mirror,
glad that when i dance now,
she’s not stepping on my feet.

she kisses my feet now,
washes them with tears
and absorbs the fluid in her afro hair.
she serves me
and is near,
perhaps closer than i think she is.

i think she is me–
only happy.


Dice Rollin


i’m happy you’re my baby.
you got me feeling lucky–
no snake eyes with these dice,
all i’m rolling is sevens.
who thought a rainy day
could still feel like heaven?
you had me open since day 11
minus the one on the end.
when i looked in your eyes,
i saw the future as more than just friends.
i never thought i’d feel this way again,
never thought i’d not have to pretend
or sway in the wind
of scar-filled memories.
with you i have new leaves
and they’re greener than the greenest green.
i’m higher than when i smoke marijuana trees
this relationship is so obsene,
so serene,
more beautiful than 1,000 sunsets
next to the sea of bliss in which we’re swimming
and this is only the beginning.


I’m Selfish


love me out of my selfishness.
i have been robbed of me more times
than i feel comfortable to speak of
so now i do my best to keep up
with my own well-being.
every decision i make has to pass the litmus test
of how it feels in my gut
and when i’m in an emotional rut,
i cut people off like hangnails,
never mind the details,
just don’t be surprised if you get the voicemail
every time you call me.

i have never met real royalty,
but still i try to treat myself like a queen,
follow the commands of my inner voice
and what makes me happy is the final choice.
i bow to myself in mirrors
and smile so brightly that now my eyes are clearer,
feed myself only the best
and even sacrifice other people’s desire for my company
for quiet moments of rest.

but i know i am selfish
(or self-absorbed to say the least)
so i ask you to love me in a way that will transform me,
show me that i can share,
prove to me that it’s OK to give again,
that if i get hurt again,
i can heal again;
breathe your love into me
until i have enough breath to speak my needs
instead of shutting down;
enough courage to stop what i’m doing
to help others who are down.
love me enough to release the tension in my shoulders and back
that made a home in my body as a shield for what i lack;
fill me, reveal me,
change me for the better
so that one day,
i can love you
in the same unselfish way.


Healthy Bulimia


fresh acid burning in the back of my throat,
darkening my teeth
and freeing that stabbing feeling
in the pit of my stomach,
i purge all that is negative
out of me.
i used to look at bitterness and anger and self loathing
and pain and pity
and say desperately, “feed me”
but i’ve found new food today.
tears of joy and peace as toxins release
and when i breathe,
i am a new person.

the world is so different now.

i didn’t know i was viewing life through dirty eyeglasses,
mistaking danger for greener pastures.
now i see what i was missing.
i am emptying,
slowly but surely
and in the future,
i see me happy
and dancing like no one is looking,
living like everyone is looking,
and free
to not care either way.