by Sahina Jerome
The days, months leading up to her death anniversary
is like being punched
in the lungs.
You’re gasping for breath.
You’re grasping for something that will ever be
The day of her death anniversary, you hear the clock ticking.
You wonder when the bombs of emotions will come.
You attempt to prepare
by letting your coworkers know and reminding your friends.
The day is here.
A few tears shed, dinner is skipped.
The next day arrives. Nothing happens.
It is not until the next month or so,
the forgotten bomb hidden in the mines of your thoughts
You hear your mother tongue on the street. Smell her perfume. See her round face on a stranger.
You explode –
That’s when it comes. The pieces
beat the earth.
The shrapnel of feelings beats itself into the earth.
You, mon maman, in the earth.
Biting the Skin off My Lips
I don’t want to be an adult anymore
Will MasterCard take my refund?
Or will life only take checks?
Will I receive a cashback offer for every year I delete?
I want to go back to a time where lonely meant
I was home sick from school and couldn’t see my friends.
I want to go back to a time where sad meant
My dad refusing to take me to McDonalds because
“Saiu – poukisa? Mange à kay.”*
I want to go back to a time where frustration meant
Not getting what I wanted for Christmas.
Because now lonely means
Finding miniscule moments of comfort
In strangers beds,
Being afraid of silence and unanswered texts,
Caring for others who just take and take –
While I just ache.
Because now sad means
Hiding in your room is safer than
What you may face outside,
Crying over being a half orphan,
Not understanding why some live and others die.
Being your own worst enemy.
Because now frustration means
Just wanting to give up and let go,
But 25 has got me this far and
I can’t stop now.
My curiosity has gotten the best of me and I have to see …
But, if I can get a refund, go back and stay in time
Not have to deal with just how real life got and can get and will get …
Will life take money order
Or is it just cash only?
*Creole translation: Why? Eat at hom
In The End, Human
The exclamation points
I type in these text
Do not describe how I feel.
I am not exclaiming anything –
I am too tired to raise my voice
Beyond a whisper and although
My stomach grumbles
I can’t force myself
To bring food to my mouth.
When I say I miss you
I mean who I thought you to be
I have to remind myself that like a ghost,
You never really existed.
His fingers astounded me
His fingers played me better than my ex,
His fingers played me to rolling hills,
To just eyes rolled
In the back of my head –
A grin on my mouth
A grin down south.
I saw the brightest of colors
I heard the sharpest of sounds
I felt light;
Felt my heart and every pound.
God was like, “Yo, what the fuck?”
Bills huh? Loans who? Rent what?
With his hands, he blessed me
Though my body was his to worship
Like a memorized prayer
He knew me better than what he could understand.
About the Author:
Sahina ‘Ina’ Jerome is a lifelong writer and artist who just recently started performing her poems in New York City. Her work explores pain, hope, and the perils of online dating. When she’s not in front of a stage she can be found teaching students with special needs, playing in a skeeball league, and thrifting for 1950s dresses. Follow her on instagram at ‘themoonspeaks’ to see what inspires her.