Figuratively Literal

My words used to be constricted

To the thoughts inside of my head

Until I picked up a figurative pen

And let the words spill

Across the figurative paper.

I have never felt comfortable with my voice

Or with my appearance

Or my ability to speak my thoughts.

Thus, I turned to more silent subjects

Things that I could do independently,


Such as mathematics or writing fiction.

I never focused on myself.

These impersonal hobbies made it impossible to consider

Just how valuable my insight is.

I never once thought of reclaiming my voice

- Thought that it needed to be reclaimed –

Until I was introduced to the art of speaking one’s words

Out loud

For the rest of the world to hear.

Before I discovered the power of slam poetry,

Poems never held much meaning to me,

To the dull shell which I used to inhabit,

Which I continue to inhabit

With holes starting to form,

Letting the light in.

I never truly understood

How easily the words could flow from one’s mind

Into rhythmic cadences

Without the presence of established patterns.

Poems are more than mere descriptions

Or exclamations of love

Bur rather they are lived experiences

Half-processed thoughts

Raw emotions.

How easily ideas can pour from my heart

Onto a page on a screen,

Turning the literal into the figurative.

With every slam I write

I learn more about me

And the pressure slowly building up

With no escape

For the past twenty years of my life

Begins to diminish.

A dash of hope

And liberation

Fills the depths of my emptying parts.

Slam poetry has taught me

To be unafraid and unapologetic.

I can finally breathe life into myself figuratively

Recognizing that it’s hard to breathe literally

And that’s okay

That I like girls sometimes

And that’s frustrating

That I count myself to sleep

And that’s explainable

That I just want to be loved

And that’s understandable.

I should not be ashamed

To raise up my arms to celebrate life

Because of something as natural as hair,

Something that grows back,

Was meant to be there.

I am unafraid to bare my arms

Bare my scars

Bare my heart to the world

And all the hurt it has endured.

I am unapologetic for taking myself

My literal thoughts and feelings

And making them figurative lines in a poem

To make them more understandable

And digestible to me and the world.


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