Confessions – Kristiana Reed

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I talk to myself,

no more, no less,

than anybody else

I’m sure.

 

I apply makeup

in the morning

for the people

in my imagination.

In regards to my first

confession, this probably

makes less sense.

What I mean is,

without it I’m invisible

to all things in

fantasy and reality;

so, I wear mascara

in case I bump

into a daydream

or a colleague.

 

When I’m nervous

I enjoy the taste

and texture

of my own skin.

I chew my nails

and their messy,

unmade beds

to the quick.

I grip my shoulders,

wrists and arms

to remind myself

I am real;

an open book

with a pulse,

intimidated by hands

with the intention

to close me.

 

I linger too long

in peoples’ hallways,

on the stairs

and in the dark corners

of my memories,

and I travel through

happiness

like a bullet train

past rolling hills

and the setting sun.

 

I white lie

compulsively

to the people

I love, so as not

to hurt their feelings.

But, what does it say

about me, when

I am so willing

to hide all of me

from the ones

who committed long ago

to greeting me

as I am?

 

I write to myself

too. Poems, speeches

and stories.

Hardly any end up

on paper; neither

printed nor inked.

They exist and

they are gone.

Sweet bubblegum

popped reminders

that I’m not okay

and I am okay,

often, at the same time.


Kristiana Reed is an English teacher and a writer (in her free time and day dreams.) She is the author of the WordPress blog My Screaming Twenties and she writes about love, her struggle with mental health, survival and hope. She is currently in the middle of producing Between the Trees, her debut anthology, and writing her first novel.  

Preyed

 

Whispers penetrate flesh walls,
secrets resound like a melody
within the temple of mind.

A church choir of boys
sing Latin,
a tongue they never understood,
yet made beautiful in spite.

An angelic host of innocence,
perched in perfect rows;
perverse men licking dry lips
conduct harmony, as
chorus echoes in rounds
confined by marble stone
laid by hypocritical hands.

In time holy walls stand,
coffers full and overflowing
while souls remain empty.

Yet pride crumbles the benevolent,
corrupt tongues stumble awkwardly
over the dulled ivory teeth of time.

Stained glass fragments let in truth,
rays of light stream through darkness
reflecting a shattered faith sanctuary
built upon broken bones of man.

 

©Sabrina Escorcio
September 2017

Photo Credit, Sam Webber illustration for “the Priest That Preyed” – New York Times

 

The Girl who Reads

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The world had been colourless

before she began to read.

Afterwards, photographs took on a new hue,

memories burned with the intensity

of cloudless sunshine on waves,

and every face and pair of hands

looked new, like gifts;

each palm had a story to tell,

each pair of eyes

had seen villains and queens,

or both, shipwrecks and battles

on the plains of their skin,

in their reflection,

in the seas in their chest.

 

Words taught her the weight

a voice can anchor

and how nimbly it can shift

galaxies, tears and the secrets

closed behind the doors

in a stranger’s heart.

Words taught her conviction,

how to keep promises

and set free her desire to breathe

in beauty and heartache,

in grand landscapes, forests

and hidden stairways to attics.

 

The world gained an artist

when she began to read

and write in purples, yellows and greens;

revealing to the earth and sky

and all gods above, below and in between

the power and magic

a girl can muster, harness

and lead

when given the right

to read.

 


Kristiana Reed day dreams, people watches in coffee shops, teaches English and writes. She is President of FVR Publishing, a curator on Blood into Ink, a collective member of The Whisper and the Roar & Sudden Denouement, and blogs at My Screaming Twenties. She is 24 and is enjoying the journey which is finding her voice.

myscreamingtwenties.wordpress.com

How to be a woman? — Megha Sood

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There are rules to be followed

guidelines to be remembered

to be followed to the tee

before I can call my self a woman

a lady like appearance

and that ever-present grin on my face

smiling from ear to ear

just to please you and ease you into the life

as you please

I should bow down in obedience

should never raise my voice

walk with the stoop of  discipline

and  eat with your hand

with the freedom

you have handed me on the plate

Like I was the chosen one, you see

Oh! that skirt is a little shorter than we expected

see it clearly fails to keep those lurking demon inside their skin

Now, you have shown them

too much flesh

now they will come out

and rip you into shreds

will devour your soul from within

“I told you” they will say

keep your voice down

the patriarchy can’t handle you pitch

they are tone-deaf to your songs of freedom

every war cry of yours

is not too more than a screech

Give in to the fear

of those jackals

those protectors lurking in the dark

they are the guardians

of this society

and your voice is ripping them apart

So, the next time the world try to

teach me how to be a women

/an epitome of grace and elegance/

they should come and witness the scars

I bore on my body

and the glow I carry

which can put their

thousand suns to shame

a sight their shameful eyes

can’t bear to see.

I blog at Megha’s World

Photo by Eloise Ambursley on Unsplash

 

 

 

Eve – Kristiana Reed

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From the moment she drew

Adam’s breath

she knew the ribs

beneath her breasts

were stolen.

The bones from which

she grew

were not hers to keep.

Her hands, man’s vessels

to hold their heartache,

massage egos

and cradle their droopy

eyed future.

Her feet, aching

to march not pace

to the sound of man’s

heartbeat and rage.

Her knees, finished

with praying to a God

who disowned her,

tired of kneeling

before men

who tell her

this was her purpose

from birth.

With the passing of years,

each bone would be retrieved,

polished and stored

in a museum,

next to the pedestals

men had placed her upon.

 

All that remained hers

was her spirit,

which departed

back into her mother’s hearth

of soil and roots

to birth new women

whose bodies are their own;

to walk freely

on this Eve given Earth.

I knew my lesson-Megha Sood

I knew my lesson
when your touch left the scar
again and again on
my suppurating skin
and you remain unscathed
and free

I knew my lesson
when crying under the
covers and
keeping those lips pursed
made no difference to your
ignorant smirk and
your bouts of glee

I knew my lesson
when I tried to please you
and kept crushing my own
desires
losing the tourniquet to
set myself-free

I knew my lesson
when I had to choose between
the dream
and the rancid choices
you gallantly offered me

I knew my lesson
when in the relationship
I ended my self
trying to ignite the love in “we”

Inspired by Kindra M. Austin’s ‘I Knew My Worth‘, Aurora Phoenix’s ‘I Knew My Place’ and Kristiana Reed’s ‘I Knew My Mistakes.’ , Christine Ray’s ‘I Knew My Name’, and Eric Syrdal’s ‘I knew my heart’

Photo by Max-Jakob Beer on Unsplash

Affection – Kristiana Reed

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“you didn’t give me enough affection”

fifteen, naive

and couldn’t have known

better,

still wouldn’t

almost ten years later;

she believed

this meant

she had to pump

her blood

like breastmilk,

bottle it up

and share it.

you didn’t want her

last sweet,

you wanted her first

tooth

and the nectar

she kept from you.

she believed

affection was currency,

kisses to buy company,

hands to hold

a future in,

favours to build

a house with.

affection

made her swallow

her words and die

quietly

with them;

a tombstone

for every time

she wished she had

said something.

she let you

court other women

and still call

her the one,

under your thumb.

she pumped

her blood,

stored her nectar

in jars

and allowed your lessons

to teach her

she wasn’t enough

to be loved.

 


Kristiana Reed day dreams, people watches in coffee shops, teaches English and writes. She is a curator on Blood into Ink, a collective member of The Whisper and the Roar & Sudden Denouement, and blogs at My Screaming Twenties. She is 24 and is enjoying the journey which is finding her voice.