Tag Archives: Talicha J.

Feels like maybe

by Talicha J.

I’ve turned my self-esteem into a bag of tricks, now he can pull pieces of me out at his will.
Sleep lost waiting on him to respond to a failed attempt at communication is a nightmare eyes opened.


His silence is a slap in the face and spit at my feet.
Does he care that he turns me into a self-deprecating being,
beating myself up every time he lets me down.
And I don’t even like him!


Call me selfish and I will call you right.
I don’t really want him, I just want him to want me and so now I’m left wanting something I never even wanted in the first place!


I’d be eager to crawl between bed sheets just to feel close, but I only seem to find myself between silence, pretending I don’t care that he doesn’t care, remember I don’t even like him, I don’t even want him…


Yet here I am writing about him…
Thing is, I’m not writing about just him. I’m writing about them all.


At times I have lain myself at the feet of another, willing and ready to open just a piece of myself, yet I wind up waiting.


Wanting to be wanted is a desperate yet completely valid vicious cycle I frequent as though it were a bar conveniently positioned round the corner,
where I’d slide off the bar stools of self-worth while slamming back shots of rejection one after another


Lust, lush, sloppy, staggering, I am no such thing, but close enough.


His touch means absolutely nothing but it feels like something,
like maybe.
Like someday, like give it time and it’ll work itself out, like maybe you really can’t hurry love, but it’s not love I’m rushing into these days.

Beautiful backbone

by Talicha J.

I want to pick up the phone,
dial your memorized number,
wait for the line to click,
your voice clear on the other end,
and say:
I’m worried about you.
I hear you aren’t doing too well these days
and I want you to know I still care.


I’ve been told your back finally gave in,
the weight of your insecurities and fears
were just too much for it to avoid caving in on you.
Are you still in there?


Seemed like you were always breaking
while I was always lacking the necessary skills
to masterfully restore you.
Did they give you pills to dull the pain,
or was it just a slip of paper prescribing no more heavy lifting?
If so love, please put down your guard.


Your backbone used to be beautiful.
Do you remember how my finger tips fell for your vertebrae?
How my palms kissed their way between your shoulder blades?
My hands were always eager to make your back smile
because I knew how much you needed it.


Friends tell me you still don’t sleep at night,
Do you have nightmares,
are you afraid of something?


On your free-fall journey
I wish so much that I could extend my arms and catch you,
whisper wellness into the flesh of your weakened back,
kiss my way across the valley of your spine,
but I’m not allowed to catch you anymore.


You are strong, can withstand so much pain
proven by the fact that you once walked around a whole
week with a broken hand before finally giving in
returning home with a cast and a sheepish grin.


But is it really your back that’s keeping you from living?
You’ve shown the physical pain can be withstood
I worry now about your spirit.
Its seemed cracked for so long and I want to remind you
of how amazing you really are.


But I can’t pick up the phone,
dial your memorized number, wait for the line to click.
It’s been too long since I’ve heard your voice,
and I couldn’t bear to hear you sound broken
without breaking with you.
Did you know you live with a monster?
You know, he made me into something similar,
by growing claws to fight off the nightmares his hot breath seared into the back of my neck.
My cheeks are a river bed of blood from nearly biting my tongue off to keep his secrets buried between my thighs,
My body doesn’t think it can keep telling his lies to empty bed sheets anymore.


I don’t trust men now.
That’s the real reason I don’t want to have children any longer,
he stole that dream from me the moment his fingertips brushed along my cheeks,
down past the gentle skin of my neck and along the curves of my breasts.
My body trembled in fear and repulsion but I was too afraid to say anything,
too afraid to let go of the breath trapped inside my chained lungs,
afraid if I’d let go I’d have started screaming and wouldn’t be able to stop until I was no longer breathing.


I am no advocate for war but Afghanistan kept me safe.
For months I was able to sleep without the fear of his shadow creeping at the edge of my bed.
No hiding behind bathroom doors as he counted out loud to ten.


To all the mothers of the soldiers who never made it home back then, I’m sorry.
I know it’s inadequate.
Your sons and daughters fought for my sanity and the innocence of countless others like me whose monsters went away to fight their own demons with government issued ammunition.
All we can do is wear your children’s purple hearts in the hollow spaces that have been carved out of us in hope of becoming whole again.


He carved me into something that doesn’t quite fit anymore.
I am an unhinged door creaking open vehemently and slamming with a bang in the winds of a storm he created.
His hormones were a hurricane I wasn’t prepared for.


I want to go on national television and beg from the place beneath my decaying rib cage for mothers to guard their daughters and sons bedrooms,
make sure the locks to the bathroom doors are in working order on the nights that you’ll be out late in case he decides to play hide and seek with their virginity.


His morals are a broken levy in the ninth ward of my body.
Katrina taught us flooded wind-swept souls that no one’s going to come save us before it’s too late
So we learn to tread in the muck the monsters leave us to drown in,
try to climb our way to the rooftops of our vacant souls to wave our bared bones as white flags towards the darkness of each night.


We swallow down the sobs we hope you’d comfort us from if you only knew the truth.
Press our tears into the pillow case and hope you can’t sense the way they make the whole room smell of sadness and salt,
the way the ocean smells after the storm has passed, but I’m only guessing.


We’re not afraid of half-opened closet doors or the dark spaces beneath our bed frames any longer,
we know the monsters don’t have to hide anymore, they just walk through the front door.


Did you know you live with a monster?
You call him husband.
Your daughters call him father.
And I was too afraid of taking those titles away from you
Do you understand now why I haven’t called?
More importantly, why haven’t you?

This Nectar

by Talicha J.

This nectar is not sweet,
it is a bitter remedy,
it is life over easy running down my thigh,
turned me plastic but I’m no Barbie
I’m just a creature of habit


Habitually crawling between his bed sheets
where we speak in touch, moan and thrust
and he, he bites my tongue
or so it seems, as I’ve lost all ability to speak


He doesn’t seem to care that the scent of me is the perfume of broken,
doesn’t mind that at times I’m a long distance call away even as he holds me.
I think maybe he delights in my inability to be anything other than something to do on a Saturday night,
and I delight in the lack of need to be anything other than loose enough to mold my insecurities into everything he’s seeking


I am flexible for him,
contorting my self-esteem to something more beautifully devastating than a thousand origami swans crumpling.
I slip like sand particles through the cracks in his smile
and do not find surprise in how difficult it is to pick all of my pieces up to return to daylight


My skin has turned to steel,
my breath reminds one of doused fire, flames extinguished by admittance of defeat
and my body knows its been weak,
knows its nectar is not sweet but a bitter remedy only temporary.
It is life never easy, running down my thigh.

The wreckage

by Talicha J.

Our kisses are four a.m. car crashes on an unlit, unpaved road
and it’s a miracle either of us ever makes it out alive.
Our bed is the remnants of the wreckage forever tainted by the stains of our tears,
like blood they do not wash out easily, always leaving behind the reminder.


Your arms used to act as a safety belt securely fastened around my hips, draped reassuringly across my shoulder but lately we’ve both been riding around insecure.
We never get pulled over for going to fast but that doesn’t mean we aren’t speeding, baby, we are all gas no brake
how far are we really supposed to make it?


Your eyes are a shattered windshield that we can’t see clearly trough anymore and I wonder whose fault it really is,
after all it started as a pebble of a problem but we never tried to solve it and now there’s a boulders worth of damage done.
We only looked away for what felt like a second but was long enough for us to miss all of the stop signs, red lights and yellow cautionary symbols along the way.


Honey, we are not even on the map anymore and we’ve got a long walk back,
neither of us trusting the others sense of direction
and you turn to me, chanting over and over
Baby I love you,
Baby I love you,
Baby… I love you,
as if you are trying to convince yourself that you love me.


I want to say darling, if this is how you love, please…don’t.
But I don’t.
Instead I say I know, take me home.
So you take my hand and our palms pressed become earthquakes off the Richter scale,
and when we wake in the morning everything around us has fallen.


Our bed still the only remnants of the wreckage
forever tainted by the stains of our tears,
but we’re not ready to get out yet.

Loving you

by Talicha J.

Loving you is uncomfortable like realizing there’s no toilet paper after you’ve already used the bathroom.
It is inconvenient like getting a bad tattoo in a time before tattoos could be removed.
Loving you is a hailstorm of regrets with no shelter to await its passing.
It is a car crash with no survivors,
and a metaphor with no meaning.


I should have listened to my diary when it told me you were not the home my heart was searching for.
Loving you is random like rain only falling on one half of the street,
I just watch, baffled, wondering if it’ll ever make it to the other side.
It is off beat, just when I think I have its code deciphered the rhythm of loving you switches tempo.
It is painful loving you, like lemon juice licking paper cuts
or sea salt swimming along the channels of future scars.


Loving you is a time loop where every day is a nightmare because I wake up still missing you, still loving you, still missing you, still…
Loving you is a life sentence, it is black bars and keyless locks,
it is gavel bangs for heartbeats attempting to call for order.


I bet I’ve bled more pens dry writing about what loving you has done to me than you’ve shed tears over this: us.
Tell me, did loving me hurt you this bad?
Were my eyes ever trigger happy to your soul?
Did the memory of my love leave death echoes haunting your heart?
Did loving me ever leave you feeling like you were breathing with punctured lungs?


Loving me must have brought out the liar in you.
Because I remember you told me I was beautiful,
I replied that I was broken and you said what’s the difference?
That the beauty was in between the pieces of me glued back together.
And I believed you because loving you makes me foolish, it makes me hopeful, it makes me human.


I remember the first time I ever laid eyes on your flaws.
Do you remember how I never held them against you?
I fell harder for you instead.
I’ve got the scars to prove it housed in picture frames packed away in a box I only find the courage to open on the days that I’m missing you, but when am I ever not missing you?


Loving you is a full-time job making minimum wage,
even on the best days when I come in and do overtime I still never get what I deserve.
It is dissatisfying to love you, do you know that?
Is that why you pushed, why you fought like hell to free your heart from my grasp?
Were you aware that loving you was this excruciating?
If so love, why didn’t you sound the sirens sooner?
Before my innocent take on matters of the heart became distorted,
twisted and contorted so much so that I couldn’t tell the difference between loving you and hurting myself.


I want to go back to the moment our eyes first locked and look away.
No, that’s a lie.
I want to go back to the moment our eyes first locked,
and do everything the same,
because loving you, as much as it makes me a martyr,
is something I can not undo.


We wore each others’ imperfections perfectly,
but even on our worst days we were beautiful,
some would maybe argue broken,
but I say, what’s the difference?
There are skeletons buried beneath her bed frame.
Pelvic bones and fingers she’s forgotten about.
Her headboard is a tombstone,
epitaph carved out of ex-lovers attempts at keeping her pleased,
it reads something like a love letter pressed between the pages of a diary, unsent and forever tugging at the ends of frayed memories.


Memories like the one of the first boy she’d ever let hold her in between these sheets,
she’s forgotten already how he whispered into the nape of her neck that she was beautiful,
that she was destined for greatness,
all she can remember is that he left her.


After months of giving him every first she could muster the trust to give he’d moved on and with him the words he’d confessed across the flesh of her bared body had disappeared.
She stopped believing she was beautiful.
Started to figure out that she was sexy and now her bed sheets were changing frequently.


She was hungry for words she’d stopped hearing,
confused the slurs of Jack Daniels for compliments.
Mistook moans and thrusts as a testament to who she was.
She let them all love her the way men tend to love you when they’re young: selfishly.


She was drowning in a sea of compliments that didn’t mean a thing and she couldn’t figure out why they didn’t make her happy,
so she’d move on to the next guy, breaking hearts and collecting bones along the way.


There are broken hearts and promises buried beneath her bed frame.
Cracked ulnas and fractured wrists of those who were never quite able to hold her when she needed them are strewn amongst the wreckage.
There are too many notches on her bedpost to count these days,
they read like suicide notes from her self respect’s broken spirit begging her to stop breaking bathroom mirrors, break bad habits instead.


With her ever-lowering esteem of self she became victim to her own reflections diatribes.
Her bedroom eyes became the prison bars she’d never realized she was trapped behind.
Somewhere amongst the skeletons of past lovers laid her own broken soul and, beneath the carnage her self-worth was suffocating.


There are people in this world who bend but never break and then there are those of us who break at slightest bend,
we are not weak for breaking but I believe true strength lies within the healing.
We can not fix what we do not acknowledge is no longer working.
She could not fix what she did not acknowledge…
I want to tell her that the validation she seeks from others won’t help, the words must come from her own mouth, the love has to be from her own heart.
I want to tell her that it’s a mistake to put more weight on the opinions of others than to be fully invested in her own self.


I want to tell her there is more of her to love than just her body.
And if she’s listening, if you are listening please,
fall in love with yourself.
Be happy in your skin, and never again let anyone bury their bones beneath your bed frame.

Loneliness is a junkie

by Talicha J.

Loneliness is a junkie eager to have you join in taking hits off desperation,
alters the mind and has you doing things you may not have ever considered had it not been in your system.


It’s a nasty habit, hard to kick because it becomes addicted to you,
fiends for your company at all times,
so it tries hard to never let you down from its high.


You can find loneliness on the dance floor at two a.m. in a crowded club in the friction strangers produce, relishing touches shared
with lonely whispering in their ears that if they have sex tonight
he won’t be as adamant about having their company…




It creeps between the sheets of long time lovers; unable to express what they need
and now they sleep on opposite sides of the bed
barely touching because lonely needed a quick fix.


You will find loneliness helping you dial the number of an ex
and no, you’re not even in love with them anymore but you remember the time you were,
how you didn’t have the itch of withdrawal constantly on your skin.


One day, you aren’t enough to satisfy loneliness anymore,
so he starts to mix it up,
adding a little depression and low self-esteem until you both are so strung out you can’t think straight anymore.


Shot glasses become secret keepers,
Bar stools; safe havens and
Porcelain bowls; journals of regrets.


Vodka is no half-way house to happy but loneliness sure makes it seem that way,
makes it seem like every hand but yours is being held.
Don’t fall for it’s cunning ways!
For loneliness is just a junkie, will do anything to keep the habit fed,
even fill you with lies of self-loathing and pity.


Hide your precious possessions,
for loneliness will pawn your pride in an instant,
no guilt in its consequences.


Has some people so desperate during happy holiday season
they’re writing Christmas wish lists on their wrists.
Makes some as bitter as the pills they swallow in attempt to quiet the incessant chatter of lonely.


It’s always rubbing and poking opened wounds,
driving you to achieve sedation.
Whore of attention, it will get off at its mention-


                  “I was just so lonely, I didn’t know what to do anymore”


…It seeks credit in suicide notes.


Has friends and family wondering ‘how did it get to this?’
Don’t let it get to this!
When it begs you to take hits off desperation
don’t you dare!


Instead, swallow that urge to recklessly purge your well-being,
for you are worth more than what lonely believes
and stronger than it needs you to be.

Grenades beneath my sternum

by Talicha J.

If my palms ever left trails of napalm burning into the flesh of your back,
if my tongue’s sharp edges like shards of broken glass ever left your mouth filled with metallic wine,
if I happened to use each vertebrae along your spine as a trigger I’d let slip or,
if my eyes whispered promises into your ear that I couldn’t bring myself to keep…
I want to say I’m sorry, I apologize, show remorse.


I remember the wave of us crashing into my core,
how I struggled to expand my lungs,
they quickly filled with muck and
left me gasping,
chest burning as if you’d planted grenades beneath my sternum,
pins pulled.
My rib cage lined with mines you landed your fingertips on softly to remind me that
I’m exploding inside an inferno you built.


I’d never go down without a fight,
using the tip of my index finger across the contours of your chest to trace the only thing we both believed in,
‘I Love You’ never seemed adequate enough to fill the vast expanse of flesh
where I could press the side of my face and listen to the way you pushed and pulled,
it appeared as if oxygen and I were always competing to fill you.


Your kiss always held secrets my kiss would beg for,
your breath leaving trails of hints along my neck and collar bone that you were hiding,
I’d let your body continue lying to me as long as it was lying next to me.
Would believe the allegories your arms would tell as they’d pull me close,
in hindsight with insight I see you were pulling to push.
Your head resting in your palms would be the closest I’d ever get to seeing you on your knees for me,
tell me, do you think you’d still find me pretty from that angle?


My esophagus knew all along,
lacked the bravery to share it’s knowledge with my heart.
I often ponder about what could have been had I spoke what we’d both been thinking.
Would our bed sheets have still smelled like desperation?
Could we have found our courage beside the shaky barstools in back alley dives with sticky wooden bars and drunken eyes that could see through our pretense?


It hurts a hell of a lot less now than it did then;
Picking the shrapnel from your heart out of my lips.


I have to say I’m not sorry, I don’t apologize, I can’t show remorse,
I promised myself I wouldn’t lie to you again if I ever had the chance.
I hope you’re happy.
Hope she doesn’t walk around steel toed,
pray her tongue has the power to heal you where I cut deepest.
I still love you, I know you believe that, but we both knew it was never going to be enough.


by Talicha J.

I hear they say America is land of the free,

home of the brave…

but I’m not brave enough to believe I’m free.

They’ve just exchanged the ropes once used as nooses
for gag orders tied around tongues.
Advertise freedom of speech,
televise equality, yet fail to follow through.


Here in America, they will chew you up,
and spit you out because they can.
Correction; because YES WE CAN!
Our roads may be paved but it makes no difference
since our hearts are gravel.
We expect privilege,
assume platinum spoons in mouths are our birth rights
and equate self-worth by the digits in bank accounts.


Oh sweet land of liberty,
we weren’t grateful for a land so fair and
now thine alabaster cities have been dimmed by human tears.
As a nation we are not humane,
not to our fullest potential.
Show more respect to our pets than our peers,
place more value on ornate material than it’s worth.
And it has all been said before but,
it seems as though it has yet to be heard.


America, I’ve heard you say you’ll leave no man left behind,
and in a sense you haven’t.
Instead you’ve placed them before yourself…
when levees break,
when quaked earth breaks,
when taxes don’t take breaks,
you’ve kept your word.


Tear down bridges to little boys’ hearts
so the journey into manhood becomes a battlefield.
Set fire to little girls’ self esteem
so every time they look into mirrors
all they see is scars.


You’ve been a brutal teacher America.
Never grading on the curve
no extra credit for over achievers
only the cheaters really succeed.


If the world placed a magnifying glass
up against the American flag
would they be able to see
how faded the hearts within the fifty stars have become?
Would they be able to tell that your broad stripes
could never be regarded with the same assurance of safety
broad shoulders provide?


Tell me, that dream of yours,
was it always designed just to be a dream?
A false hope of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,
because most of your people have been trapped
in an American nightmare
with no dream catchers to capture
the pain, failure and defeat you’ve implanted in our sleep.


America, your beauty quickly turned into conceit,
likening you to that mean girl in high school that
people only respect out of fear,
you sicken me sometimes!

Then I remember, it’s because of what I’ve done,
what we’ve done as a nation
that’s molded you into your current state.
Yet we don’t take responsibility.


Instead we place all our hopes and dreams
into a new man every four, maybe eight years
and judge, blame and prosecute them
within the courts of our hearts.


America, do your children disappoint you,
the same way most of us claim to be
disappointed by you?


I hear they say you’re land of the free,
home of the brave…
but I’m not brave enough to believe I’m free,
because every right you’ve given
I’ve relinquished
all for the sake of saying
I’m free.