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Body Language 

By Lysz Flo 


My spine rattles and creeks

Aren’t you exhausted ?


Holding everything together has left us




Tell me- 

My limbs will say

How is that even when we tire

You are able to 

Still grip 

Still hold

Still move  

Forward, knowing our neck 

wants to look back and

Cave in


My sternum whistles,

My heart booms and says

I’m still here,

Open and ready for you


This pit of my stomach squeaks

Meeps and says despite how I feel - I believe in you 


My soft folds in each part of my body say

We are loveable




As we are, as we exist, as we flatten and crinkle, 

hang onto these handles

 as you take up all of the space you are worthy of


My knees 

laugh and toast their glasses

We have so much fun together, 

slow down sometimes from running and bending backwards, but don’t lock into us either. Fluidly move through 

for we carry so much more than this soul of celebration and woman


So much woman

My body repeats 

Through scars 

And cuts

And scrapes 

So much woman

Aren’t we beautiful?


My Instagram:

My Facebook:

Veins Etched

By J. Swift

Veins Etched


beneath her knuckles

in a calligraphy

of roads beneath skin.


I envied those

with veins

on the backs of their hands

which seemed to be

everyone but me.


mama said it was because

they did a lot of work.

I watched her leave at seven

and come back from swabbing

specimens in the hospital lab

at the other seven

too tired to even eat.


Grandmama scrubbed chitterlings

before New Year’s

for good fortune.

Pink sheets of flesh sloshed

from one side

of the sink to the other,

Foggy water smelling

like soft, raw, insides.


Her veins,

a healing tree growing

to attach her fingers.

They shimmered

as she washed.


All over, veins

become more prominent

than they ever were.


Growing older

thins the skin

the body’s work is in aging

Even the backs

of our hands

are time stamps,


reminders of the imposition

but impermanence


of work.

J. Swift


  Queen All Day Is Who I Be

By LaTonya Merritt


Queen All Day Is Who I Be

You don’t know me, you don’t even know my name.

You heard about what I didn’t do, now let me tell you what I been through. 

You wouldn’t last one day in my shoes, you will quite after the first step. 

See my my faith I put in GOD, that’s why I walk with such pep.


            You don’t know me, Queen all day is who I be



I’ve been mentally, emotionally, verbally and physically abused, all my life, and the pain has caused me Great Depression.

So, I stand before you today with my head held high, because my GOD has turned my burdens into blessings. 

I’m not concerned about the negative stories you heard about me, because everybody wants to run and tell that. I just come to share a few of the facts.


            You don’t know me, Queen all day is who I be


Now that I’m older, I realize that when I was being rejected from all the things l so desperately wanted to do.

GOD was redirecting me towards blessings so much greater. I just couldn’t handle the truth.

I was dealing with disappointments, stress, confusion, betrayal, depression, fear, heart breaks, abuse, jealously and so much more. 

I’m okay today. I don’t know what tomorrow brings, all I know is I’m going to keep spreading my wings.



           You don’t know me, Queen all day is who I be


GOD has been fixing the broken pieces in my life.

Preparing me for restoration. So yes, every time I open my eyes, I must give GOD the praise for this victory. That’s were I find my salvation. 


          You don’t know me, Queen all day is who I be


Greatness is Contagious


By Taomi Ray

How we behave in society really does matter.
Energy is like static electricity. It will cling.
To you and to me, it might even sting.
So Be watchful of what you do and what energy you bring.

Hate is outrageous, serious and sometimes silent.
Hate is contagious. It can jump through generations and raid us.
Fear is never courageous. It speaks with no soul. Fear is contagious; it drives people in droves.
Fear says to bury  dreams deep into holes.
Never let them get out.
Fear keeps you in doubt.

There is always another side to the line.
Time tells all on the timeline.

Love is also contagious. It is a beautiful characteristic and it's advantageous.
Love is good and good is also contagious; it rubs off on people and comes from the one who made us.
Good is contagious.

Last but not least, greatness is contagious.
It is the spark in the eye,
it is felt when it walks by.
Great got started with good, it then took what it was given and did all that it could.

It made better.
Greatness turned better into the best.
The best  never stopped but became pure greatness and greatness is contagious.
Hang around it, watch it in its developmental stages.
Analyze the phases.
Apply it and pass it on. Greatness is contagious.

Grandmother’s Story

By Jamie Mayes

My grandmother told me she quit school in the 8th grade

The cotton needed pickin’

And the kids needed feedin’

And in those days, “That’s just the way things was.”

She chuckled a little and then asked me if I could

Teach her to read.

“I reckon I can read, but I don’t understand much,”

She told me.

And a tear rolled down my cheek

For the many ancestors like my grandmother,

Who heads hold more stories than their

Hand can barely write,

Whose fingers curve around pens that write words

They can barely pronounce.

Oh, Grandmother, so often have I


Taken advantage of the way three-

And four-syllable words roll off my tongue with ease


All the times I opted for less words with more pictures

Because my vocabulary was large, but my patience was short.

How many times have I abused the beauty of language

To harm or belittle or destroy others with the same words

You could barely read?

How selfish of me to boast of the things I knew

With no regard for the things you didn’t.

And you...

Worked in the fields for me

So, my hands would never know the pricks of cotton bristles

Or the weariness of long days and short nights

Or a fifth season called harvesting.

There’s no need to teach

When you are the teacher, Grandmother.

So, I shall read to you until my throat dries up

And cotton fills my cheeks the way it used to

Fill the cotton sack you dragged between your fingers for me.

I will read until my voice cracks more than your knuckles

After a long day of cooking for 11 kids, your husband, and

That white family who barely paid enough to feed yourself.

I will read so loudly that my ancestors will know my freedom is ringing.

For every book my ancestors were denied, I will read for you, Grandmother.



And then I will tell your story,

I will write until arthritis cripples my fingers the way it made

Yours lock up from scrubbing floors and handwashing clothes.

I will write until I have given every last ounce of energy

Like you did so many days and nights for me.

I know times have changed, Grandmother


But history is still the same-

Ain’t it funny, Grandmother,


You can barely read the book,

But you tell the story so well.


Visit the Jamie Mayes Website

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