Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Posts tagged “wish

Writer’s Wish


i wish i could write for days,
then write some more.
only stop to eat words
and drink metaphors.
bathe in poetry,
lather with lines laden with alliteration
and life-giving meaning,
rinse with prose
(because as a writer, i’m supposed to be well-rounded),
and lay down in free-verse
and have words be my lullabies.

i wish i could take the time to be dumbfounded by life,
pause for a few moments to enjoy what i like,
stop running and just
write.
free myself and others.
or maybe just myself.
and others could read and listen if they like,
but if they don’t,
i’ll still write,
laugh a little,
cry when truth is revealed,
heal.


Too Busy?


am i too busy
for a kiss?
my lips love to run,
jump up and down in
articulation of words that
travel faster than i can
think
but now they’re thirsty for a drink
of you.
ice melted, slick, and cool,
you know how we do.
you know how we do:
innocent pecks turning into
freestyle cyphers of tongues,
cheeks, hands, necks.
but i still can’t figure out
who flows the best.
and what’s this burning in my chest?
it smells like longing,
missing, wishing
i was kissing
and not
so, so
busy.


Wet Feet


new touch with an old face
but fresh feelings.
it’s funny–the old me
was too numb to even know
that these nerves existed,
that i could be myself in my own skin,
that you’d appreciate my blemishes;
that i can lay back and be silly
without false pretenses.

i’ve pretended
that i’m ok with being lonely forever
and the hurt i faced in the past
had me thinking that i would never
open arms again
or kiss lips again
or dare to wish again
but i see him again
and yesterday melts like ice cubes in the summer,
new experiences wash over me like water
and i kind of like
getting my feet wet.


Wishing for a Kiss


wishing for a kiss like
new toys on Christmas
or mom deciding to do the dishes
or a canceled appointment with the dentist.
i’m innocent but womanish,
beaming like a child
yet unable to control the power and magic
that lies in my hips
and these lips
burn sensually
and they’re asking,
“Will you meet me sometime soon
in the place where the full moon
reflects in the corners of our eyes?
Will you stand so close that our breath takes rides
on the same wavelength,
surfing and crashing
until we stop fasting from touching
and surrender to this feeling of something
exploding, wanting,
not yet needing
but enjoying;
not dirty,
but past the point of clean;
somewhere in between
like and want?”

but what are wants but
persistent whispers of the subconscious
with hot breath on our necks
and words of nonsense?
i will listen til they makes sense
or until the sound gets too intense–
whichever comes first.

hopefully i can tell the difference.


Fireflies


i wish i could take
the sensuous gravity of this night
in my hands and place it softly inside a clear jar
to keep for our remembrance.
we innocently brush one another like fireflies.
i cautiously beg you to look at my light
and i flicker in ways i thought were shut off.
let’s not let our air supply get cut off.
this jar has holes cut in its lid;
hopefully reality still finds its way in
so that we invite our brains into our hearts’ decisions.
this encasement, although small,
does not feel like prison,
but freedom.
free me as you hold me,
hold me,
hold me,
and when it’s time to let go,
do so
and let me fly
until we meet again,
my more than friend.fireflies


Fake Lovers


we are fake lovers,
spinning on a broken record
that’s our jam
that causes us to dance
when we jump out of our crazy,
lonely lives to listen
to each other breathe into phone receivers
and wish for more.

we had more, baby.
we were Bonnie and Clyde
speeding down a highway
where reality chased
and there was no damn way
we were stepping on the brakes.
we were the Red Sea before
Moses lifted his staff to separate,
but now we live on two different sides–
there is dry land in between the wetness
that once lived in laughter that birthed tears
and bodies that danced in sheets without any cares
in the world but which one of us
will cum first.
“us” had come to an end
with no satisfaction
and now i wish i could wrap back then
in saran wrap or a silk napkin
and save the memories for when i am hungry.
i would eat them crumb by crumb for every night
i have to sleep alone with no one
beside me
or watch romantic movies
and end up sentimental and crying
or ponder the reasons
why love always seems to be dying
and dine on the times
when you and me were “we” thriving.

our love was alive like
Lazarus after Jesus wept
and we took steps
on a spiraling staircase that never seemed to end
until we tried to climb to future heights
and fell down to hell.
now shit is fire and i think you’re a liar
but even though you burned me
you’re still the best i’ve seen
with my near-sighted eyes
and i wish i could feel once more what we had.
and i wish we didn’t move so fast
from strangers to lovers to soul mates
to exes to strangers
to this phase
of sporadic late night phone calls
and empty promises
and reminiscing of good night kissing
instead of hanging up with uncertainty
of when we’ll speak again.

damn.
i miss my friend.


December Showers


even though it’s cold outside,
i crave spring-time love.
not out of necessity,
but the pure, simple complexity:
energy rushing through the beats in my chest
and spreading to an extra sway in my hips
and curve in my smile
and spark in my eye.
even though my skin is now dry,
i feel like sticky pre-summer nights that never end,
where the sky stays the same foggy blue for hours
and midnight conversations buzz
and enlighten in my ears
like fireflies.

i wish it could be spring all year…
the beginning of flings and i don’t even care
if they disappear by Labor Day.
but i guess if it weren’t for barren winters
and handsome smiles without words to follow
and today communication that results in
uninterested tomorrows,
i wouldn’t care about the weather.

i want to be seasoned with rain that’s fun to run through
and kisses of potential and hands held for first times
and dances without music.
i’m counting down months until my next season change
and hoping it comes sooner
than when the weather man claims
cuz it might be winter outside of my window
but it can still be warm in my heart.
wind can chill me in climates where i have to wear my coat
but sunshine can fill my throat
and sing the most beautiful songs
(even if they are off-key).

i feel like a spring-time love,
not out of necessity but pure luxury,
boredom, entitlement, fulfillment
and simplicity.
energy rush through me
and change this weather like fall leaves
and leave me satisfied
as summer tip-toes with holes in her socks while
temperatures are increasing
so that like a bear hibernating,
i would have stocked up on enough love
to carry me over to days when the sun
stays up late because even she can’t resist the temptation
of the rush that comes
from spring.


I Feel Like Fighting


i feel like fighting but all i got
is fingers for writing.
they move to formulate melodic phrases,
but when it comes to making fists
and swinging on enemies,
they are loose branches on an uprooted tree.
how can individual fingers be soldiers?
i know my middle ones are as i raise them in the air
whenever the feeling hits me.
but what about the pinky?
can this extremity that can’t do anything on it’s own
make a difference in this war?
can my opposable thumbs oppose the force
that attempts to squeeze me in?
can the finger for my ring
bring about the independence
i have been waiting for impatiently?
i don’t think these wishes are for me
because i write stories
but still haven’t found the characters or plot to set me free.
i am still imprisoned by ideas that are afraid to leave
the comfy living room of my imagination
for fear of cold cemented floors
and no doors to open.
me and my fingers keep hoping
for better days, for hours when fighting
won’t dominate our desires
because the water to put out the fire
burning my chest will be abundant
so my soul will finally be at rest.


Ode to Black Man


black man,
you are the still waters where bystanders pass time by
throwing pebbles on
with the hope that they will skip.
i see you as you ripple every which way
from that which is thrown at you
but still you manage not to break.
you are fluid,
cool, transforming when you need to
but still remaining faithful
to the form that is you…
beautiful.

your strength is like metal chains
that after time build rust
but still are solid enough
to keep the gates of innocent lives shut.
danger shakes when she sees you,
chooses to walk on the other side of the street,
shudders at your power
and that’s what it is about you
that captures me.

black man,
i love you despite the ones who look like you
who hurt me.
i’ve learned to treat them as exceptions
and regard you as excellent.
your smile
has the capacity to stretch my heart that once shrank
and let it cover all of me
so that beating flesh moves from my chest
and onto my sleeves.
you are as pure as guitar strings
strumming acoustic sounds
that speak to my soul.
you are a drug which relieves tension
and melts away all that i try to control.

i won’t go as far as to say
you fill the hole in me,
the one that nags at me late at night
because despite the happiness you might
bring to my life,
you are not God–
but you do look like Him,
like when you laugh,
i see His reflection
and when we embrace,
i catch a glimpse of God’s face.

black man,
you hold the world on your shoulders
with strong arms, solid legs
and a back that has been stabbed
and i see you bleeding.
i wish i had enough rags to stop the blood,
wish i had enough sand to stop your flood,
wish i had enough patience to wait for your love
and enough discipline
to not be sitting on the side of the water again,
throwing pebbles at you
with the hope that they will skip.
i see you as you ripple every which way
from that which is thrown at you
but still you manage not to break.


If You Could See


she said she wished she could be me for a day
and i thought, “honey…
if you could see what was really in my heart,
it would break yours.”

i am not who they think i am.

things are not always what they seem
and though i’m not a thing, but a mere human being,
this cliche somehow applies to me.
i grip me so tight
that my fingers don’t feel right no more.
they are too numb to even fight for more.
the little bones have been cracked
from holding out my heart on my hands
and offering it to the finest bidder,
auctioning off my soul and body
so that my tiny self-concept could grow bigger.

after malnourishment and gluttony all intertwined,
i determined for me that i will no longer
give away my mind.
i used to be kind
but now i offer very little assistance to those in need
because i am afraid that consumed by greed,
they’ll grab at my possessions
with all their strength
and make me feel misused again.
so now i got me
in the pockets of my tight jeans.
i hug my own curves and trust my own touch.
foreign fingers and feelings at this time
are just too much.

so if you still feel inclined to take a journey through my mind,
enter the horrors and smiles left behind,
climb the caves of  laughter caught in my throat,
cover your ears when you hear my agony note.
and on your last day,
rip through my flesh and find
those bones in my pelvis that used to relax and unwind.
and as you depart,
watch your step
so that next time, you won’t regret
wishing to live in my skin
and hopefully i won’t either
and i’ll come back again.


Map of a Migraine


migraines
are a manifestation of the heart exploding.
my dreams have nowhere to go
and they grow
larger
as my capacity to achieve them feels
smaller.
i wish i was a little bit taller
so i could reach up and grab them
as they bounce up and down,
starting at the ground from which they grow.
they travel through my toes
and up my calves which walk paths
in the opposite direction.
they stop in my hips and feel cold
from lack of affection.
they strive to reach my heart,
which beats for them
but these tunes or not in tune–
my dreams say “i’m ready now!”
and my heart says “too soon.”
so up they go,
trying to enter my brain
as my consciousness of how far away i am
drives me insane.
my soul can’t take
the screeching halt of my dreams’ brakes
so it retaliates
by giving me an extreme headache.
migraines are revenge
for every time i ignore what’s within.
my dreams yell in my head
to remind me that they are not dead.
and as the pain dissipates,
i get another chance
to achieve them again.


Tentative Tomorrow


if i knew that i were going to die
tomorrow,
would i be satisfied?
would my life
be a reflection of beauty
or one of regrets and unfinished tasks,
loose ends never to be tied
because i died?
how many people would cry,
contemplate, pause in confusion,
come to the conclusion
that this life is really just illusion?
we see what we want
and ignore that which we fear
so that our vision is sometimes clear
and other times fogged
from allowing our hearts and minds to sit on the shelf
for too long.

what is the shelf life of this life?
a part of me wishes i could know
my expiration date
so that i could stop dwelling on every mistake i make,
and instead appreciate
the fact that i have x many days
to decide to change.
perhaps i could warn those around me of the hour
when they will no longer
see me before them.
or maybe i’ll surprise them…
bless them with the light of my life
to the point that they don’t consider my night.
both of these possibilities seem alright
but in reality i have no idea when God will grab me,
snatch me up like a child acting up
so i walk in anticipation, desperation, adoration
of the promised today
and the hypothetical, tentative
tomorrow.


Her Night


being alone let’s me
hear and see
things I never noticed
were there.
it’s kinda nice
being able to check in with me
and not think about others
for a while,
to feel stillness and my feet on the ground,
observe this life I thought was ugly and horrific
and somehow
see beauty,
to be somewhat
on the road to rediscovering me…
maybe she
is hiding in leaky roofs and buzzing insects
and noisy cars that pass by, or
maybe she is in a white night light
or the bluish purple sky.
i think
i have a chance of finding her
if i sit still enough and observe,
maybe i can feel her if I understand
that me is her
and her hurts
but she still lives
and her has been hustled and abused
but she still gives
and her wants to give up
but she is still here
with her feet on the ground,
observing the sights and sounds
of a night as beautiful as she
wishes she could be
again.


Back in Time (Revised 7-16-08)


why can’t rain be cotton candy
and thunder be gumdrops
and clouds be licorice
and lightning be lollipops?
i just want to stick out my tongue and be pleased
i just want to eat sweets
but i don’t want the rain,
i don’t want the insane and i don’t want
the mundane i just
want.
there’s a blank following that statement
because the blank represents
that which i do not know.
i wish i could grow
as quickly as my hair
but with each five minutes added to blow-drying
i find myself crying
and upset over the same things.
people talk about life and the joy it brings
but all i can think about is me and the song i want to sing.

am i selfish?
if i am, i can’t help it.
i spent so much of my life neglecting me
that sometimes
i walk past mirrors and ask
“who is she?”
and then i look back
and observe parts of myself i never knew were there.
you know those dreams when you’re naked
or standing in your underwear
while everyone around you is covered?
i feel that bare when i’m awake in front of others,
maybe overexposed to past lovers,
or maybe still hurt by betrayal from past brothers
or sisters or friends
but the innocence in me has gone
and it takes a while before i can play pretend again.

i wish i were five, i wish i were truly alive,
not just on auto-pilot like a drunk pilot
who gives announcements without thinking
or considering the lives he’s risking.
let’s pretend!
let’s play on the monkey bars,
let’s even roll in the dirt
and wear down our jeans at the knees.
mama might get mad but she’ll understand
that it’s normal for children to play freeze tag.
chase me without the intent of hurting me.

let’s hide and go seek our identities,
our own persons,
find ourselves and tap them on the shoulder
and shout “you’re it!” to make them real.
let’s engage with our future selves–
stare them in the face and admire the bumps and bruises,
admire the smoothness
in places that are rough now,
and the sagging
in places that are firm now,
and the wisdom
from things that are learned now.

life is kind of serious sometimes
maybe that’s why it’s hard
to locate my childhood mind
i wish i could press rewind
and reverse and stay
back in time.


Live in a Poem


i wish i could live in a poem.
wouldn’t it be cool for life to flow to a smooth rhythm
where word play could translate into laughter and
word choice would dictate just the level of happy that
you could potentially reach every single moment of every single day?
each time you alliterate you would illuminate
a fresh new idea.
every letter used in each stanza could help you dominate
and with each syllable, synonym, antonym or homonym,
you could levitate.

you could simile smile
as people around you inquire “Metaphor?”
and you can personify
that after laboriously looming in a long line for the loo for lingering moments that seemed like eternity,
you purposely onomatopéia’d your pants in front of everybody
and it feels
AWESOME!

nouns would represent loved ones and
adjectives would equal fun and
for every punctuation mark used, you would get a kiss.
rhymes would mean impromptu trips
to the land of free and
double entrendres would demand that you get two scoops of ice cream.
verbs would reify daydreams
and adverbs would be your favorite movies
looping in conjunction junction
with your favorite songs on a never-ending playlist with no repeats.

whatever tones set in the poem would indicate your moods,
but not to worry–
this life creates beauty even out of blue.
and here, tears are valued and glorified,
which basically means that you can rejoice and shout “Hallelujah!”
every single time you cry.
life will become oxymorons and parodoxes busting out of boxes
and reaching truth as each moment passes
the next.

life as poetry in motion
would be like a vacation
where you get to see exotic animals, mountains, beach and the ocean,
where you could hopscotch from one continent to the next,
simultaneously experiencing the cultures of Nigeria, Greece, and Tibet
and the coolest thing of all is that
you don’t have to spend any money or even go anywhere,
you just have to open up your mind, eyes, and ears,
ride the wavelengths of your imagination and fantasies
and from there
you’ll see
that life really is a poem
if you allow it to be.