When I was twelve
I was long-haired
And fat
I had eczema that crawled along my skin
In the summer
And crept into my dreams At night
I was a dancer

When I turned fourteen
I felt broken but destined for balance
I believed in something
Possessed a
Righteous sense of self defense
Loud hair
And a person

Then I was seventeen,
I’d known some things
Learned around myself, kept falling and falling somewhere
But I was dancing
Fiercely holding onto movement
And proof of existence
I was alive
With no fear
Of —

    Then I was twenty

Stagnant and somewhat hopeless
I was finding
and losing trinkets
Bones and tongues …And


I am almost twenty-three
I do not dance
I seem to find in pieces
I am here
Simply here, writing on my life
In fragmented stages
Remembering the vague, abstract chunks
Of my existence

But I am here

Does every poem need a title?

You’ve stretched out over six feet of space
The only six available in a tight cramped hospital room
The timed whir of machines processing their functions
Manufacturing life for the fathers of crumbling daughters
Wakes you from the slumber you keep attempting to steal
Between Catholic prayers bleeding through overhead speakers
And the methodical ticking of another plastic heartbeat

If you could break through the window you would
If your legs could hold you up
And your fingers were not shattered at the joints
You could lose sterility, be freed from gleaming white walls and
Monitors keeping you just at life’s bay
Where you’ve sat for years
With your family in your lap
And blood spilling from your mouth.


Broke my finger when I touched myself
Couldn’t find where the vulva was supposed to split
And it was too slippery down there,
Too foreign for my comfort

Lost my voice when I called your name
Lettering like kola nut in my mouth
Slicing my tongue
When I tried explaining myself
To myself, or whoever would listen

(This was supposed to be forever,
I was supposed to be forever)

I’ve stepped into every phase of my life
With a twisted ankle and feeling a little less grounded

Cut my hand on the mirror
As I tried to learn myself
Without asking any of the hard questions I know I hate to hear

Work Woes

Whiteness masked as coloured-ness is not quite as violent as whiteness parading around as itself
But it does make me wary in the same
Guard your shit, and watch what you say
Way that white supremacy does

‘The bus’
When I was too much
Too Black, too full of myself
You made me road-kill

‘of color’
Womanhood in shades
Browns not quite dark, too light for
My kinda treatment

‘Do you know who I am’
I come from niggas
Ex-slaves, and segregation
No stranger to me

Power Rising 2019

I’m leaving IAD
Headed to where the Black Women convene
A tight fist forming in my stomach
And a sudden realization as the plane ascends
That the ground has always been there
Greens and browns so distinctly natural
I mistook my bare feet for the roots of an oak tree
And watered myself, often and tenderly

My chest heaves and tears prick the corners of my eyes as
I sink into this unfamiliar shade of blue
Bright and ethereal as god herself
When she
Placed it here
And sent me to the place where black women go
To dance, to heal, and be
Our most untethered selves
So I could see what she sees
Catching my grandmother’s eyes in the clouds
And her voice on the faint hiss of wind rushing past me before
The ground soon becomes blurred by clouds
And I’m lost to the heavens
The long home of my ancestors

I’ve craned my neck so many days to send my voice here
Where prayers go and root…
Where I’ll always be.

Octavia St. Laurent

I want you down on your knees
Where servants and dogs belong
Licking at my toes
HUNGRY for a taste of my sweat and grime
Any proof of my earthy heritage
And otherworldly existence
I want you suckling at my tits
And polishing the dark brown of my areolas
My pleasure should be your first concern
Wiping up the wetness from my legs
And caressing the inside of my vulva
i want you ripping at my skin
with your teeth and nails
Shredding me apart
And piecing me back together
With nothing but the faint memory of my being
And a lingering taste for my pussy 
You can call me out my name
Then recognize who I am
And worship me
Wrap your hands around my throat
Until my heart is palpitating in your palm
And the key to its chambers is misshapen and unusable
Learn how my cervix is shaped
And then leave it to me

You can do whatever you like with me

Except disrespect me.

The pussy Poem

Today I took a hand mirror and stood naked in my bedroom
I decided I would pick my pussy apart and find the self respect the worth and the value
Hidden beneath between and betwixt the pink flesh
I took that hand mirror and placed it between my legs
Stuck my fingers between the two fatter lips and felt round.
I touched my clit and wondered why men have such a hard time finding it, then separated the inner vulva—the smaller lining of lips.
Maybe beneath them would be the highly requested list of all the men I’ve ever fucked scrawled on old legal pad paper in sloppy black ink
Drenched in my own cum, sweat, and discharge
I looked and I looked.
Searched and felt and roamed the insides of my pussy
I took it apart, laid the insides atop my bed and stared at them.
Written somewhere on the skin had to be all the rules
All the standards
And of course, the sheet of paper signing my reproductive rights over
To a bunch of old white men who only see pussy in mirrored reflections


The gift of giving

wilting trees
and houses built on sinkholes
lost traditions, and
blood lines soaking into the earth
eating away at the long-forgotten corpses of our lineage
broken mirrors holding disfigured reflections
of little brown girls
with twisted mouths and charred fingertips
these rest on creaky floor boards
and against old wooden walls
draped in white sheets
books with no spines
pages out of order and words that don’t fit
anything i feel
strewn across a room
that belongs to all whoever wishes it theirs
though my name is etched into the door jam
and my skin hangs from the knob

these are the things my family gave to me.