Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Posts tagged “potential

Why Cry?


when i
consider the amount of potential
that lives in my insides
and then wake up and see
what is really outside,
tears well up in my eyes
and i cry.

when i
think about all of the uncured disease
and all the money that’s made in pharmacies
and the people who live off of painkillers
instead of cures,
tears well up in my eyes
and i cry.

when i
think about how the boys in blue
are supposed to protect me and you
but when i needed them,
they treated me like i was the criminal
and my assailant walks the streets
and breathes the same air as me,
tears well up in my eyes
and i cry.

there is so much to cry about
and some days,
i have to search for laughter.
i have to remind myself
of other chapters in my life,
the dog-eared pages of past stages
when life was sweet
and love was constant
and happiness was not a long-lost friend
but something that lived in my pocket
that has now slipped away as easily as lint
in a pair of pants
that are too tight for me now.

some days i can’t even cry
like i have some strange infirmity
from all the fucked up things i have seen,
like my eyes no longer produce tears
so when fear mounts, i shout instead
with a poetic voice loud enough to wake the dead.
the dead live in my head.
their corpses rot in their tiny grave plots
and their headstones read:
INSECURITY,
JEALOUSY,
HEARTBREAK,
DATE RAPE,
MISTAKES,
and FEAR.
the soil is soft and pretty flowers live here
and sometimes their scents break through with pollen
that causes tears
and i cry
and cry.
and cry
until there is no more inside
and until i feel alive
and the frustration subsides
and then i can finally breathe
and finally see
that crying was a necessity
to move past all that is upsetting me
and live on.

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The Peculiarity of Potential


i have the potential
to be Johnny Travolta in Saturday Night Fever
but i’m cool and stuck on Wednesday.

i have the potential
to be like Stella and get my groove ba–
but i lost the “ck”.

in the end,
potential
is nothing,
a mere statement of what should be
but is not.
potential is more illogical than faith
because it leans on the negative,
the “i wish” that sits
on the tips of our lips
but betrays us as badly
as the kiss of Judas.

but where is Jesus?
His magical garment has ripped
as i, the woman with issues
pulled so tight that facts got mixed
with potential,
trying to make Him fit who they say He is,
forgetting the reality that He does exist
inside of me,
only highlighting my individuality
rather than participating in the accusatory
proclamations that prick the insides of me,
pointing begrudgingly at only
what i have the
potential
to be.