My voice

I arrive at this blank page empty handed
carrying no words to present to it
I only carry a feeling
that of a speech bubble
stuck a little below my throat
I feel its presence pushing up against my vocal chords

It’s a little bigger than a lump
settling a little lower than where a lump seeks refuge
Is this bubble just a heart wanting to find its way out
Is it lungs not finding enough space to stretch
I feel words there where my heart beats
there where my lungs raise my chest
Why can’t they propel these words out?

I anticipate their arrival
These words hardened with truth
Waiting to be softened by my voice
Big is not merely their size
Large is also their influence
I know very little
Yet I am certain about this

My eyes, they see
I pour words onto them everyday
Not knowing that you can’t water eyes
They water you
These two moving pieces of brain
Pour the words I saturated them with
Onto a page of white and gray
A page that has been crumbled
the words scatter with their heavy letters
failing to find lines to rest on

You speak from your stomach
My dad always complained
In a choir they told me
Let your voice come from your belly
Not from the throat
Do I speak from my belly and sing from my throat?
I get this urge to stretch my neck

I don’t carry the map
The notes to strumming my strings;
lined up on an obscure sheet
My ancestors did not teach me how to read
Did my grandmother have it?
The map she had always ended up in them finding her
Wedded, bedded, no words
My mother, the womb that carried me
The map she carried took her to mother a man
Mothering a man is leading him without touching his pride
Her voice lowered in response to his insults
Did they lose their way?
Or does the map offer no choice?

Often times, a woman meets two choices
That of her heart
That of their selfdom
one can keep her alive
both get her killed

I choose a silent heartbeat
swallowed by a body of skin
for a heart that beats is the map
to the song I yearn to sing
to hear the voice of my heart

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أنا مُتَغَيّرة

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