Poem: Body Image

Note: Critiques are always welcome. This is more straightforward than other poems I shared.

Did you know that women are required to have body fat because we have to make the babies?

Did you know that thigh gaps were never a beauty standard

Until a few years ago?

Did you know that Barbie used to a positive influence as a sex doll

Before corporations pleased Ken dolls in human suits enough for them to please themselves

With expectations,

Crushing little girls’ dreams?

Did you know that Ken doesn’t have to have

A large penis to feel masculine?

Did you know that size doesn’t matter,

And that’s not just a statement you say

For underdog penises either?

Did you know that gender is an illusion?

Did you know that we’re all illusions?

Impressionist paintings of various sized strokes

And that it’s not a crime to believe we’re grand masterpieces?

Did you know though I’ve sucked my stomach in

When I looked in the mirror,

While making a silent prayer for a bigger butt?

Did you know that I am the hypocrite from your

Cosmos and Seventeens

And Sports Illustrateds?

Did you know that those pages spread into

People’s skin long enough to make them either

Eat less

Or more,

And can’t shut the magazine until getting past the good part?

Did you know that the good part doesn’t exist,

Because all the best writers create suspense

So that the conflict is never solved?

Did you know that we’re tired of towering standards,

But we don’t know how to knock them down?

Did you know that it took me  years to feel confident

In a bikini?

Did you know that the bikini was revolutionary

Until marketing created the fictional

Bikini Body Look?

Did you know that all you have to do to have “Bikini Body”

Is to just place your body in a bikini

Regardless?

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Poem: A Letter to Eleven Year Old Me

To my 2006 doppelgänger with round glasses

And big hair that didn’t get the concept of scrunching with conditioner yet,

This is for you.

When black and white kids try to throw Frisbees

That force your colors in the air to be compromised,

Grab them back, don’t blot them out.

Mixed girls can be articulate.

Mixed girls can be lively.

You are not obligated to say “no homo”

For admiring another girl’s beauty.

Wearing big sweaters do not swallow your

Attraction to boys whole,

They just swallow your tiny upper body

And it’s beautiful.

You think it isn’t, but, believe me,

It is.

Your beliefs are beautiful.

There is no need to assimilate your psyche

For the sake of attention, for the sake of being

Stirred into warm, blended soup that will leave you

Chilly in due time.

That doesn’t give you permission to make another assimilate to you.

That girl’s hijab is not choking her,

That boy not believing in God doesn’t make him

Not believe in the good in this world.

You’re not going to know this right now,

But that same boy is going to come out as gay

Six years later.

Not “homo.” Gay.

And there is nothing wrong with that.

You’ll get better in how to be a good friend to him.

I want you to learn now,

But you can’t know the answers to everything,

Right?

That doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to ask

Questions.

Your grandma’s church may test you,

But just because you stop believing in bubble sheets,

It doesn’t mean you stop believing in God.

He’s gonna bring you out of a lot of deep

Sh**, trust me.

Oh yeah, you’ll start saying that word more.

More swears will coat your tongue long enough for

The taste to turn from sour to sweet,

From sin to purity.

You learn that there is purity in it,

Because of the honesty in it.

I’m writing this to you for the sake of honesty.

Your parents aren’t getting back together.

Santa isn’t real; you’re really stupid to believe your mom for so long.

Dark thoughts don’t always go away.

Going to counselors don’t make anything wrong with you,

They help make things right with you.

It’s okay to think about sex, even when you don’t

Want to have it yet.

In the future, you still don’t want to have it yet,

You’ll start wearing a ring that makes that clear.

Writing will be one of the only things that will

Bring you sanity,

Safely ripping the safe jacket off of your desires and

Pursuits to help you grow.

I know you’ve only written to me in a few diary entries

In future tense,

And I know my letter won’t get to you in time in the past,

But know that despite the monotonous, commercialized

Voices who will say you’ll be fine, hoping that

You’ll “choose” happiness when you can’t,

You will turn out fine.

I’m sorry for the tardiness, but you’ll agree with

Everything I have said.

I love you.

Sincerely,

Maya 2015.

Another Different Perspective

It’s all about crying, especially when you don’t want to, but need to. It’s about the removal of weight from your chest you didn’t realize was there. It’s about realizing that in a dark corner, and drowning in its darkness until you’re pulled out. It’s about throwing punches very few can see you throw, because to them you are invisible, but you’re not. You’re really not but that mean force intoxicates you over and over again to make you believe that you are not worth it. It’s about receiving revelation for why you are worth it. you inherently crave brokenness, because how can you get rid of something from the beginning? It’s about things never going to plan; your choices aren’t always enough, others’ choices aren’t always enough, but you know of that one who is just that: enough, and sees your being as that way regardless of your choices. It’s about being brought out of that drunken frenzy and seeking that light outside of the corner. It’s about relinquishing the demons from your chest; you thought they would never leave but they did! Sure, they’ll come back, but you know that this time they won’t stay for long. It’s about believing in that promise that rings true as you sober up.

It’s all about how you can continue this list as long as you want to. It’s about questioning whether you want to continue or not. It’s about how it is okay to ask questions to get angry, get joyous, get human. Yes, human. Created by the one and only who sees you and your worth! One who sees your blood crusted razors, your begging hands, your struggles, your punches at the wall, your hiding in little to uncomfortable sheets, your lack of a home, whatever a “home” is to you. It’s about receiving redemption out of it all, making you want to continue getting up.

Poem: Cockroach

Dedicated to the water bug I was scared of in my bathroom, the roach found in my kitchen (may you rest in peace), and the children at Hester’s Creative School in Greensboro, North Carolina.

In the corner of a room sits a young boy

Claiming to be sweating from his eyes

In order to avoid the humiliation of being called more misnomers

He believes apply to him.

Crappy pseudonyms from his peers apparently exemplify

The meaning of his life’s storybook.

Because of a different disposition his peers find displeasing,

He sweats especially to the name “cockroach.”

Oh, yes.

They can be quite noisome.

In fact,

What purpose could they serve other than to creep

In the deathly hallows of faulty garages and unruly bathrooms?

Isn’t that why they’re to be stomped on?!

Sure, that’s a paraphrase of what those kids say.

But,

I haven’t seen many people willingly kill a cockroach

With their feet.

The size of the crunch is too unbearable.

People would rather be cowards and use disinfectant,

Or other forms of spray.

They are the filthy ones.

Not you, dear boy.

They fear you, dear cockroach.

Your inner martial arts is much larger

Than what this world offers.

Why settle for being a grasshopper?

You have the power to prey in bathtubs

Long enough to make pansies rather shower at the gym.

As the Robin Hood of all insects

Those adolescent monsters could have picked for you,

You take left over food from the privileged homo sapien

To feed the souls of your poor, roach brothers and sisters.

You can survive longer than any earthly species

With its head cut off.

Obviously, you know not to sink low into the shallow waters

Of a shattered mind when you lose your head.

You’re gonna die with grace.

So why not live with it?

With more purpose inside of you,

The classmates you have are kiddie pools,

Contrasting from the oceanic depths of what your bug-like instincts

Must give to this dying society we call home.

Along with the facilities we must endure within

That consist of the other unflattering names that make you cry.

Wipe those salty dew drops,

Get up from the sulky storm you’re in,

And dominate that room, fellow cockroach.

“I Am Only Human”

This a shot towards myself too, by the way.

Imperfection is rife in humanity. But why is the phrase “I am only human” the best excuse for when we do something in a negative light? Whether it’s lying or being lustful toward another individual, for example.

It’s rare when someone is crying and he or she says “I am only human.” Veronica Roth, author of the Divergent series, said that tears may be a chance for us once in a while to stray from monstrosity. We cannot control how we feel, nor can we control the natural tendency of sobbing or furrowing our eyebrows. However, when it leads to murder, greed, selfishness, or cowardice, “I am only human” seems to be the only reasonable explanation for why there are people like that in the world.

Also, virtually every religion displays the fall of man being the main reason for why humanity is inherently sinful. The fall from Purity, before wrongs ever came into the world. To be honest, that is comforting justification for why we’re “only human.” We weren’t always so bad. It can be okay to cry, shout, or exclaim this universal reason for our flaws.

Those flaws don’t always have to be a sin, either. They can be a stutter, a certain disposition, or an embarrassing memory that makes us original and still pretty great.

Isn’t it ever frustrating to never state “I am only human” when we do good in the world? As said before, we weren’t always so bad.

If only someone said “I am only human” when these things happened:

  • participating in charity
  • assisting one who fell
  • laughing at a hilarious movie; even when some don’t find it so funny
  • forming group hugs
  • having the urge to give gifts
  • going to church for a sense of community
  • not going to church for a sense of individuality
  • reading
  • putting on makeup to express yourself
  • dressing in a favorite outfit
  • playing tag
  • staying up all night on the phone in intriguing conversation
  • wanting to learn a new task
  • elated when finding a new pearl to add to your mental pearls of wisdom
  • finding God
  • giving substantial advice
  • wanting to go out to eat
  • smiling
  • saying “I love you”
  • working for what you’re passionate for
  • listening to music
  • dancing
  • snuggling with a stuffed toy

The list can go on and on, I know it. I cannot be the only person who wants that.

Throughout all of humanity’s baneful ideals, there are still imperfections that make us so wonderful.  The positivity in our nature makes us beautiful. WE are all wonderful and beautiful!

The Perks of Wearing Makeup

A prominent part of grooming in the media, the stage, the feminine world, and other factors of life is makeup.

As little girls and boys watch their mothers use their faces as canvases, curiosity builds in their hearts to the point of wanting to paint too. Red and pink lipsticks and technicolor eye shadows with brushes galore is a new form of coloring they haven’t experienced before.

In high school, I viewed makeup as a marketing scam from the dawn of time. It was used to demand women to enhance themselves now and always. …it still is that form of marketing scam at times. It’s frustrating when women can be insecure enough to not leave the house without even a splotch of foundation or mascara on.

However, because makeup is a great tool of expression, the pessimistic thoughts of it women comparing themselves to a coloring book that needs to be filled in, fade for a while. Makeup is also a great form of skincare, especially when it causes you to touch your face less, because no one wants messed up make up; there are lower chances of germs invading your face.

I don’t wear makeup every day. When I do wear it, I don’t like too much on my face. I still believe people around me look much prettier without makeup. I feel prettier without makeup. But when I have the urge to wear comfortable powder on my cheeks, mascara that makes my eyelashes stretch a symmetrical fashion, and a lip color that feels smooth, I can’t deny how good of a feeling that.

Feminine, expressive, spontaneous, fun.

Whether it’s for a special event at a specific time of the day, for a performance on stage, or for having a spirited moment with your products alongside friends or family, it’s great!

Poem: Passion

Passion: Noun.

Intense driving, or overmastering conviction.

Yes! I Am Triumphant.

I have discovered the depths of the blurry image

Of what the crystal ball kept trying to show me.

I was not the product of a sale for a deceiving, brightly dressed psychic.

I’ve become better than that.

I speak of the object of interest in my thinking process

Of a future I’ve been afraid of for as long as I can remember!

Passion: Noun.

Obsolete. Suffering.

The constant debate of where you find yourself is settled here:

In high school, you are nothing but lost.

Or at least I was.

It wasn’t until I became erect to the words of

Ellison, Sondheim, and Christ

That I became awake upon a piece of furniture that I’ve always laid down on in exhaustion.

They took over the torches and pitchforks that pressured the need to only settle for something

as comfortable and lousy as that couch.

However, it didn’t make the flames or stabs disappear.

For example, I once thought it was silly to tell a bunch of straight A AP students

That I wanted to make a living making people’s day.

Maybe artists and dreamers wouldn’t be welcomed in their circle of intelligence.

Passion: Noun.

The state or capacity of being acted on by external agents or forces.

Inspiration is the backbone of all achievements.

Whether or not “great” can be the true name for each one, varies.

Sweaty palms and a racing heart can’t mirror

My pace of walking into a new building;

Inside, excitement ensues.

Meeting new people and hearing their fascinating words lead me to smiles high enough to

reach the Everests that are my cheekbones that were once too hard to climb.

Passion: Noun.

A strong liking or desire for, or devotion to some activity, object, or concept.

Some of the craziest mixtures of theories and dreams can be the most admired.

Therefore devoting to accomplish them becomes well supported.

How foolish I was to believe adopting those flavors wouldn’t exist for me.

Passion: Noun.

Ardent affection. Love.

That is where I stand for the people around me.

And for the future ready to embrace me.