Lifeboat

What does rest look like now?
What does holding on look like?
What does anything look like
When you can’t recognize yourself.

I am drowning
But no-one can help me because
I am the only one who can see the water
I cannot reach out to you from down here.
Reach in. Reach in. Reach me.

Everyday waking up to tend to the home of my spirit.
Bathe this body.
Feed this body.
Dress this body.
Carry this body.
Hold this body.
Remember to let breath in this body.
Remember to open your chest and release this body.
Remember that this body is woman.
Protect this body.
Walk this body through the days.

I am tired of this body.
I want to let this body of water go now.
I want it to return back to the ocean.
God why did you give me ocean currents
But river softness.

This body is tired.
This body is floating in itself.
This body is a boat.
Send someone to row.
Send someone.
The water is tired.
The carrier is tired.

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Come Fetch Your Girl

Come fetch your girl.
You were so right.
She reeks of you.
She’s going to text you soon and tell you how much she loves you and you’re going to welcome her.
Because you knew.
I knew too.
See your girl isn’t consistent.
Yet she’s the most constant thing in your life.
Everything about her reminds me of you.
You made sure of that.
There wasn’t a corner that you left undone.
There wasn’t a single drop of yourself that you didn’t pour into her.
She’s so full of you.
So infinitely full of you.
You made such a home in her.
Sleeping in her bed feels like robbery, like a break in.
This love feels like a crime.
Come fetch your girl.
You knew that everyone that attempts to come after you is just part of her journey to become for herself, to come to you.
Is that fair?, your lover invites women like me into your home.
To warm your side of the bed.
To be your temporary arms.
To be the breath of fresh air when you two open the window of your home.
Come fetch your girl.
There’s a love for me that doesn’t involve you.
She refuses to leave you at the door before she enters my house.
I’m trying to clean this house and I keep stepping on your broken glasses.
Bleeding for a love that isn’t mine.
This is not my house anyway.
Come fetch your girl.
She longs for you and she’s trying to find you in me. She’s scratching and digging but you won’t come out of me.
I can’t fit into the body suits of your personality traits.
I won’t settle.
Come fetch your girl.
I’m here, but the house is lonely without you.
I’m waiting for you.
It may take years but I know you’re coming back.
My bags are always packed.
I have my “Welcome home” banner ready to pin up for you.
Everything will be washed and replaced, renovated.
Just the way you like it.
Your return, will be glorious just like it always is after women like me.
Oh dear God, I’m homeless.
Can I stay at your place for a while?

come fetch

Heavy

-I’ll name you and still carry the shame.
-I named you and still carried the shame.
-They’ll shame me even though they know your name.

For someone alive, I think about death a lot.
How many times should I die in front of you?
How many times should I play cemetery for all the women that left you?
I am not a graveyard.

Illustrated by Moipone Tsaoane25353795_1653724638021478_372184987530566766_n

Indian Hair

You must not be misinformed.
We didn’t come here by choice.
When the British came
My ancestors knew what to do.
They filled our hair with as much culture as possible- thick
They bridged the ocean in between.
We came with our agarbatti and bhindis
Our traditions and myths
“Do not walk under a mango tree at night with your hair loose.”
“Turn salt seven times to remove the jealous eyes”
We came with our home remedies
“Chew bitter leaf to get rid of a cough or drink russo.”
“Burn sambrani”
“Put coconut oil in your hair.”
“Leg baths for new borns by an elder.”
We came with our Gods
“Lakshmi prayers, porridge prayers, Kavady, Raksha Bandhan, Diwali.”
We came with our bhajans and marigold garlands.
We came with our intricate languages
And broke English so rigidly, only we understand each other.
“Thava(homonym), hava, warrapen”
A rope.
A root.
When the British came
My ancestors knew what to do
They filled our hair with as much culture as possible-Thick.

Illustrated by Moipone Tsaoane
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Thoughts

-kindness without feeling like I am burden.
-A backbone to teach people how to treat me because I am tired.
-what is the line between being patient and compromising? What am i doing to myself?
-vent without being considerate and I should give my emotions and feelings the validation they deserve. 
-No your words are harsh. Suppress.
-Do you think my neighbour can hear that I’m having panic attacks?
-I don’t know how to let people be there for me without feeling heavy. You are so weighted, you don’t need to carry this alone.
-The line between being a soft place and people getting too comfortable.
-Why won’t you learn my language? I’ve been trying to ask you for help the entire day.
-I won’t be swallowed by my own emotions.
-Row your boat. Row your boat. Row your boat.
-How much longer are you going to deal with issues that concern other people by yourself?
-Some people’s offers of help are just decorations. You deserve yourself.
-when will you stop using self-love as a coping mechanism?
-love asked for a year from its previous lover, what is love doing with you?
-You feel so undeserving of this love, and sometimes you deserve better

The solutions.
-Nothing you do is because of anyone, it’s because of yourself.
-I underestimate PMS.
-I am allowed to overflow.
-I am allowed to ask for more.
-my vastness is not a burden.
-it is a gift if people who cannot love me leave me.
-Don’t make assumptions.
-Have the courage to ask questions.
-Trust that they’ll have the courage to tell the truth.
-Be gentle with yourself.
-Self-love is lonely work.
-hold your hand. Do the work that needs to be done.
-I am both the ocean and the shore-always returning to myself.
-I am both the sun and the sunflower-Always finding myself.
-Love is not heavy. I am not heavy.
-I am deserving.
-I am resilient.
-I am allowed to make mistakes.
-I forgive myself. Forgiveness is between me and god.
-I am courageous.
-I will stop doing myself a disservice by comparing myself.
-I am healing. That takes time.
-unlearning takes time. Untangling my roots take time.

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Dear

I want to be with someone who challenges my negative thoughts.
I want to be someone who challenges my negative thoughts.

I want to be with someone who dresses me with positive affirmations.
I want to be someone who dresses myself in positive affirmations.

All you ever knew was trauma that is why you’re so easily impressed by people. I’d rather not.
The only reason you’re so lonely is because you spend time with people who empty you in the name of love.

You’re that idea that excites people but no-one knows where to start when it comes to embodying it. Disappointing.

You’re the builder of the bridge between people and their self love.
Burn it, people keep walking all over you.

You are a soft place. People are getting too comfortable.

The things you want from this life are not unreasonable. I can’t think of anyone more deserving than you.

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(un)Relatable

(An extract of unrelatable things, because I write for myself)
-For someone alive I think about death a lot. I’d rather not.
-Somedays depression and anxiety come knocking, but today is not of those days. (Every day’s Mantra)
-I think your coffin was lowered in my throat, I speak about you so often.
-I’ll name you and still carry the shame.
-I’d name you and still carry the shame.
-I named you and still carried the shame.
-They’ll shame me even though they know your name.
-Where is my eulogy, where are my obituaries? How many times must I die in front of you for you to honour me with your words?
– How many times should I play cemetery for all the women who have left you? My love is not a graveyard.
-Your grandmother hates rape, only because she thinks it made you lesbian.
-Ironic, they’ll rape you because you’re lesbian.
-Even if you scrubbed the colour of my skin off, you still can’t erase my struggle.
– They are no writers that look like me. (That’s why)
– I’ve drawn bricks on myself and still couldn’t call myself home.
– Your childhood was random men touching you inappropriately, telling you it’s just a game.
– my grandmother made so many sacrifices to give us a better life and it still wasn’t better than yours(The gap)

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The Rehearsal

Here are a few unsolicited lessons from my everyday rehearsal with myself.
1. Rehearse, even when you don’t want to. You probably need to anyway.
2. Show up to rehearsals, especially for yourself.
3. Leave whatever you’re going through at the door before you step into rehearsals. Each rehearsal will ask you to be a new person, sometimes better, sometimes worse.
4. Be kind to the people you’re rehearsing with. They will become the arms that hold you and carry you through.
5. Good rehearsals end with you telling yourself the truth.
6. You don’t have to rehearse your “I’m fine” it takes courage to love yourself and admit you’re not okay.
7. Practice hope. It will anchor you.
8. Practice patience, it will give you a sense of understanding.
9. There are just some things you cannot rehearse for in life. Some lines you can’t prepare for.
10. You cannot rehearsal for love. It comes whenever and however.
11. Rehearse with love always.
12. You will walk out of rehearsals both heavy and light. Much like the sun.
13. Don’t hold grudges on yourself, you’re not the same person you were yesterday.
14. Make mistakes and be great at them.
15. Rehearsals are for learning.
16. Have faith. It’s not going to be easy.
17. You will not fit every role.
18. People will be hard on you, remain a soft place for yourself.
19. You can adapt without being forced to change.
20. Do not compromise love, especially your time. Do not dwell and overplay your roles love. You are worthy of so much more. …

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