4 Maya




I know why the caged bird sings

why brown girls crave tears to dry from their bluest eyes

why I don my purple holding head high


when maya wrote me notes of hope

toni threw me rope

and alice covered my shoulders with a violet cloak

I’d slip between my sheets and between the sheets folded between

creased up covers I found the words to bring me home

where little girls who saw monsters in their mirrors

and young ones whose pink folds were torn

climbed the paper hills to reach their resurrection


I got revived in chapters slicing lives in fine pieces

fed on phrases that filled the holes in my soul

when sonia called me home girl and

taught me to toss my tunes like hand grenades


When I was holed up in cold basements

tears choking my throat

I could see through matted eyes lines long like roads

to take me past southern trees, rooted canes and concrete roads


I know why the bird sings between iron and bars

I seen light sleep behind barbed wires and stone towers

sneaking novellas between denim and skin

concealing emotional contraband


And when not even one letter will stutter from the nib of my pen

I can find fodder in the phrases of folks who had

courage to reap story in the dirty

in the corners, in the crowded closets that

threatened to smother them in shame

and I can raise my head and swim again


I lived my 40 days and still don’t know if I survived it

from floods to the wilderness, my heart’s been fair game

but to these 242 sheets I return to again and again and


Alone on grey nites or by dawn moving the morn

I’m reborn

and those same eyes, like 85, straight to the sky

re-reads each step like a brand new line

and I remember that even with weighted wings

I can still sing

I can still fly

I can still write

I can save my life

–by Motion (from 40 Dayz)

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