Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Posts tagged “love

From Disdained to Divine


for the past few years,
i have looked at my body with disdain–
blamed it for inexplicable pain,
glances from creepy men who refused to break stares
even after i shot the dirtiest of daggers with my eyes to say,
“get away from me.”
i have tugged my love handles unlovingly,
stood in the mirror jiggling parts
i’m too shy to mention through poetry,
cursed my skin for getting dry and scaled in the winter,
wished i was thinner,
wished i could trade this black woman body
for that of a girl named Molly
(with a big-enough booty to keep her warm on cold days),
wished bra shopping didn’t frustrate,
but now i recognize all the self-hate and laugh.

today, i look at this body
and see how much God loves me–
so much so that he hand-crafted me,
sculpted me without straight lines.
i am His design,
i am that divine living representation of Him.
i admire my skin
and every limb and curve it touches.
now when curious eyes land on me,
i smile to myself,
put myself in their shoes,
knowing that if i saw such a creation,
i’d stop and look too.


Love Letter to My Dreams


to get to you,
i will jump–
no–dive–
into an ice cold pool,
not knowing how to swim well, stay in my lane
or hold my breath for a long time;
not knowing the difference
between a breast stroke and butterfly,
only having a loose plan to freestyle
and hope i make it
with my pure unadulterated desire,
naive hope
that somehow,
i’ll stay afloat.
they may need to push me in,
but damnit,
when that time comes
i’ll happily oblige,
doggy paddle for miles and miles,
tread water just for the chance
of grabbing a thread of the fiber of you,
that same fiber that makes me
me.


You Fill Me


you fill me,
not in that literal way
of pitcher pouring into tall glass
to form condensation on the outside,
but in that spiritual way
of your heart pouring into mine
to form radiance of skin,
showing of teeth,
growing of hair,
confidence that shouts to strangers
that i am loved enough at home
to need anything from them.

i never knew a man who made my hair grow,
whose soul glowed and became B complex
to make my life much less so;
i never knew a man who laughed at my jokes so hard
that tears filled his eyes,
a man who knew all of me,
from the low dark corners i don’t want anyone to see
up to the vision of who i’d like to be
and loves each part equally,
but you,
you fill me.

i was complete before,
but with you i overflow,
always grow,
always know
that i am full.


God Made You


i believe that when God made you,
He purposed you for me;
chose the curves of your lips carefully
to hug each crevice of my own
so that each time you kiss me,
my soul feels at home.

i believe that when God made you,
He labored over your eyes
until they were bright and brown enough
to look into mine and become a mirror,
allowing me to see my best self
through His view and your help.

i believe that when God made you,
He selected the perfect size and stature for you to fit me
like two pieces of a completed puzzle under a dusty rug,
grown tighter with age so that it would take more than a tug
to separate us.

i believe that when God made you,
He created your heart to be a consoler of my tears;
formed your ears to be caverns for my fears;
manipulated your mouth to be slow to speak until you hear;
beautifully selected your body to be one i revere;
powerfully conceived your existence as proof that He’s near.

i believe that God made you
fearfully, wonderfully,
purposed, intended,
magically, exclusively,
generously
for me.


Heart Kiss


if you gave me permission to kiss your heart,
not just the skin on your chest that protects it—
the pecs i’ve greeted with warm and greedy pecks
past the number if times deemed to be polite;
not just familiar and smooth brown skin,
but that deep and scary thing that lies within—
i’d first have to hide my embarrassing grin.

i’d tiptoe up to your beating red flesh nervously,
take note of your vulnerability
and marvel at the sight before me
and at how before this day, in blood,
i never saw beauty.
i’d check my breath and wipe my sweaty palms on my pants
before softly kissing it with parted lips and folded hands.

i would set up residence in all four of your chambers,
curl up and read the book of your soul,
highlight all the secrets you’re still afraid to tell me;
dog-ear the pages of your insecurities
French-kiss your pain and lick your wounds,
digest them to make them mine.

but they’re already mine.
you have unraveled the helixes of my DNA
and genetically altered and doubled us
into a four-strand cord impossible to break;
victimized my veins
and transformed them from kidnapped to kin;
taught me choreography to a rhythm once new
but now true.

boom-boom
boom-boom
boom-boom:
the pulse of
our hearts.
our kiss.
our love.


Full



i’ve got that
“newlywed happy love” weight;
that
“you’ve filled my heart and tummy
and now i can’t button my jeans” weight;
that
“i’ll take a slice of you
with extra whipped cream” weight.

your love is salty caramel sweet;
your words are hot sauce when i’m fried chicken
and your kiss is like a whole Maine lobster
with extra melted butter
and i’m hungry!
feed me!

always satisfy my appetite for your love.
even when i think i’m stuffed,
i haven’t had enough.
you have added pounds to my life
that i cherish
and carry with me proudly.

i am full
of you.


God’s Softer Side


he kisses me when my nose is snotty,

and doesn’t mind if his face gets wet.

when he’s thirsty, he drinks my tears,

exchanges sugar for salt.

he grabs my love handles

and tickles my stomach,

reminds me that i am not fat,

but blessed.