18: "welcome to hell," he said. "you'll love it," he said. / by LaQuann Dawson

The academic "summer" has fizzled to it's end and classes have begun. I sit in bed this afternoon and reflect back on my summer. My summer...the frizzy hair, the laughter, the lost wallet, the dusty boots, the disappointment, my humble queen, the all nighters, the open mics, the credit card swipes, the late rent, the struggle and the outcome. I start a new chapter of my life in a city to call my own. So for now I say in as bittersweet and accent to my home state that holds my heart and nothing else...

Au revoir Ohio, my love, until next time.

t-shirt and scenery credits: mt

I've not been writing much lately so I'd like to sort of recap the fiery hell of a summer I have had as I start to finally cool down. Moving to New York was not in the least an easy task for me and after these long three months I feel like a new man, reborn and refreshed, a man who has been and is yet to be tested to his limits.

---

New York's initiation grated my patience / bruised my skin / emptied my pockets and had me question my intent / New York's initiation swallowed my soul / gnawed it to death and spit it out into a waterless ocean / baptized me and brought me back / a reincarnation of the self I used to be / A work of art / a walking poem /         immortal. Lava under each step / I am heavy / I am tall / brown / hungry / relentless / breathless / A God / A King / Unapologetic in nature and far removed from it / I am an impala lily removed from Africa, ready to grow between the cracks of broken sidewalk in the jungle with no trees.

When will you see me / New York / I am not glass / I am invisible / an invisible man     and to who but you. I paint my future with the colors in my mind / I see my past as a flower of a different bloom /     in a different season. Admired / growing / ultimately alone. I water myself daily and pray to myself for a drop of rain /     a break. There is a storm within me / I am a storm / I am the storm. I water myself daily and pray to a god I've never met / wait for the rain come / it has not yet come / I am a flower of a different bloom / in a past season / approached by cavalier adherents who do not want to grow together but yearn to elect me from my roots and drain me of my pollen / Saddened / I water myself still / sometimes with my own tears / Dissatisfied, my stamen produces still / pollen for those deserving / pollen for days. I am a God / a King / an impala lily removed from Africa / Broken gold and liquid lava run through my bloodless veins / Vibrant / saturated / optimistic / in a colorless winter / still I grow / alone / my heart beats for a future here / beats for the risk     I take / for the places I abandon / places that can stroke my heart / brush my hair / hold my hand / could never    though     handle my soul / I am         free / I am out / I am here / I am poor     black    / to you I may even be ugly / But I am here, bitch.

I am an impala lily removed from Africa / growing between the cracks of broken sidewalk     in the jungle    with no trees / My stalk aches to sprout beyond towers that cage me / I hope to reach corners of this city where I will not be stepped over /     or     on / I water myself still. Frank tells me / "inhale, in hell there's heaven." / I trust him / so I look / I look for my heaven         in a modern hell / beside myself / holding my own hand / I am taller than myself and I look up to a smile that is not mine     but it is my own / A crown that is not mine / but one that burns the same / A voice / he knows words better than I but he is still me /         I walk beside myself / darker than myself / in front of myself / I leap and click my heels /         I am happy / I follow my soul / he speaks to me / "welcome to hell," / he said /     "You'll love it,"         he said.---

Stay lit, love yourself, treat yourself, crown yourself, be proud of yourself, call your father and reach for your mother. Tell the Queen happy birthday and have a nice day.

- Lackwhen

Posted in