i snagged my nail on something
a few days ago i caught a loose thread
i walked away i didn’t know better and it all came
undone row by row by row spinning so loudly i couldn’t hear myself
think now my head won’t stop thud thud thudding around
around like my old chucks i’d toss in the
dryer the noise would scare
me like i was destroying
something i knew
better than to be
near the thud
resonating in my chest
my cold chicago dreams left me crimson and raw i remember a man howling at me on the L he bellowed at me and he screeched
at the shadows in front of me and he screamed at the ghosts by the doors he screamed all the way from howard to lake
scrawling my name over and over furiously desperately like i’m going to forget carve it into my palms leave angry red lines
i’ve been crashing
galaxies burning in my chest
the night they all began to implode and my lungs collapsed and i was right there in the middle i was blistering
searing papaya skies
i closed my eyes as the smoke came out i hate to see my insides singe
i almost died in your bedroom that night
you didn’t notice
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
- Maya Angelou