Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Posts tagged “if

Midnight Eyes

midnight eyes with dew on lashes
wish for love in the daylight–
a reason to burst with emotion
other than anger or tantrum.
if love were a tantrum,
how would it express its youth?
would it stomp hearts and scream obscenities such as
“Don’t leave me!” or “I need you?”
or would it just stream down tears of joy
and sit in a corner of the world known by most
but frowned upon
once left?

midnight eyes dream of stories in books
transformed into reality
so that days become pages
turned slowly and dog-eared for later reference,
an experience that good.
“That’s good,”
midnight eyes whisper when viewing
movies with method actors using realism
to display fantasy only realized in screens.

midnight eyes want to become alive,
want fiction to turn real–
not “keep it real” real,
but “blood pouring out of feet when glass is stepped on” real;
undeniable like the hour when yawns take over energy
and eyes get droopy until morning.

midnight eyes do not want to wake
until full moons shine too bright
and stars sink into sight lines without effort.
until then, midnight eyes stay closed
until sunrise.


Ignorant Bliss

i was swept away,
not knowing that such feelings could exist;
not knowing that there is even a difference
between knowing and feeling,
between love and that feeling
that sears the inside of my hips
and burns and sticks
to the bottom of the pot of my desires.

i never knew about fire.
my gas stove at home only has hues of blue
and sometimes orange
but my lust is red.
come join me in my bed.
let’s learn about the things we did not know
i hope this time lasts forever
or until the point when Never no longer matters
and Maybe grows up because she’s having a baby
and If turns into a kiss and decides to be definitive
for once in her life.

sweep me away from this life
and into a land where
love makes sense.
i see its definition in the distance:
not Webster’s but life’s encyclopedia-thesaurus-dictionary experience
viewed in first person.
we are in motion–
picture it with me:
you and me.

let our union open up our blind eyes to see
the mystery of love
through our own history;
the misery of love
through our own synergy.
sing with me,
dance with me,
melt with me,
exchange heart beats until we are both free,
never forgetting,
and loving.

If This Is

beauty meets tears
and invites them to a dance with steps
only memorized by the magnificent.
if this is history,
then i wonder what tomorrow will feel like.
if this is reality,
then how peaceful will my dreams be
when i close my eyes tonight?
if this is joy,
then i cannot wait to experience love.
the thought of it gives me goosebumps and fear
because my heart is already swollen
with pride.
it beats louder than ever.
i am alive again.
i didn’t even know i was sleepwalking
until now i have experienced
real life–
the emotion, the struggle, the achievements
and all that could happen
by just believing.
overwhelmed i am
so blessed i am
here i am
breathing, feeling,
being, existing,
growing, changing,

i thought God was absent
so i could only imagine
how great would His presence would feel like.

Missing Pieces

i kinda miss him
but i don’t know why.
i still desire
the one who broke my heart,
hoping that he kept the misplaced pieces
in case he ran into me again.
maybe he hid me in his wallet
next to a year-old condom
or in the bottom drawer
under his socks with holes in them.
i certainly live in memories
that hold such crucial portions of me,
but it’s physically impossible to reach
into another person’s fantasies.
even if i had the opportunity
to sneak up on him while he sleeps,
i couldn’t enter the territory of his dreams–
so parts of my soul are held hostage by a man
who i barely even know anymore.
and now when i laugh,
it’s hard to ignore
that certain tones and melodies are missing–
it’s the difference between a keyboard and a grand piano.
how much better is the original than a hip-hop sample?
i have dwindled into a preview
when i used to be director’s commentary.

if i could stand on a platform and speak
to girls who remind me of me
the day before i gave me away,
i’d warn them not to.
i’d encourage them to hold on tight to their hearts
like the handlebars of a bike
on their first day without training wheels;
to stick to their sanity
as if they had crazy glue on their fingers
and couldn’t remove them until they absolutely knew
that the love they imagined
was real.
i would drill into their heads to grip those hearts
like old white women do their purses
as young black men walk past them on streets,
to take precaution because
i don’t want them to be like me,
searching for themselves in situations
that no longer exist,
wearing tanktops but
still finding their hearts on their wrists,
saying to themselves,
“i never thought it would be like this”
and shaking their heads when they realize that it is
and that there’s no turning back,
just searching for that
piece of them that they gave away,
discovering a few moments too late
that they’ll need their whole selves again one day.