The Whole Story

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The poem that’s getting me through

the day after the dead dies
it’s a family reunion
the day after the dead is buried
it’s a death

and I have to go to work tomorrow
because grievance days last the same amount of time
whether you just buried your dog
or your only brother

or lost them both
and buried them next to each other
and I have to iron my clothes now
when they can no longer see your wounds
they expect for you to no longer look like shit

the obituary is already wrinkled
you start to feel like you should be straightened out by now
it’s not like he just died yesterday
it’s not like people are still calling to see if you’re alright
you should be able to rest now

you keep taking them anti-depressants
but you ain’t dreaming bout’em no more
because even the dead can feel when they’re old news
when their sons have stopped asking when they’re coming home
when the rest in peace T’shirts are too faded
to remember who you were remembering

who were you remembering
how long has it been since their profile
became just another picture at the bottom of a police file
since their dirty clothes at the bottom of your hamper
stopped smelling like all of the trouble you
tried to pray them away from

how long has it been since your friends stopped
by the house with flowers for your mother
sat on the floor all night and cried with you over the loss of your brother
listened to you repeat
the same stories
about the same person
and laughed and engaged as if it was the first time
they’ve heard his name in years

how long has it been
how many days does it take for a death
to stop feeling like a family reunion
for you to finally feel alone
like an only child
like you’ve lost something you love
and you can feel it now

The Other Black Man

Tonight, you’re going to miss someone, and they’re going to miss you too. You’ll both be telling the truth about the emptiness, and it’ll be the most beautiful lonely that your body has ever felt. You’ll get that goodnight call, or you’ll read that goodnight text, and even though they are not there, it’ll be just that, a good night. Enjoy it, you deserve to be this open, we’ve all lost lots of things, and we miss them, but this is a good miss, this is the void you want to experience. Close your eyes, sleep with your phone under your pillow, extend your arm to their side of the bed, and rest, knowing, that someone out there is suffering from this same lonely, that can only be cured by you.

"We’ve barely just met, and we are going to tell people that we are in love. they’re going to think that we are nuts, and we are, because we are in love, and love is nuts, and loosened screws, and unhinged doors. and there is no such thing as moving too fast, because you’ve waited your whole life for this person, even if that life is still young, you’ve waited."
Natasha “T” Miller


Love is …….. B E A U T I F U L

(via ricidosway)

3/30 Black as Depression

Black girl be depressed.
Black girl be sad.
Black girl need help.
Black girl don’t be ashamed of needing help.
Black girl get therapy.
Black girl be therapy.
Black girl don’t just be therapy, need therapy, get therapy.
Black girl be ugly when you don’t feel like being pretty.
Black girl be pretty when you don’t feel like being ugly.
Black girl be black.
Black girl don’t be in this alone.
Black girl be me. Black girl be you.
Black girl be us.
Black girl don’t be ashamed of your black soul.
Black girl ask for help when you need it.
Black girl suicide don’t cure depression.
Black girl reach out to your sisters.
Black girl we’re here for you when you need us.
Black girl curse the sun when the wake up call is too early
Black girl be shade.
Black girl come in more than one shade.
Black girl play a slave.
Black girl roll up the partition.
Black girl roll up the blunt.
Black girl be on welfare.
Black girl some of that is your sister’s money.
Black girl you deserve a break.
Black girl don’t break.
Black girl live in the ghetto.
Black girl be ghetto.
Black girl be natural.
Black girl be nappy.
Black girl be pressed or permed.
black girl smile wide like your big lips and low cheekbones are trying to fight.
Black girl fight.
Black girl tribal twerk.
Black girl work.
Black girl don’t work, tell them praying that you sons make it home is a full-time job.
Black girl suicide don’t cure depression
Black girl being a black girl is a job
Black girl, be black girl.
Black girl, be as black as your soul girl.
Black girl don’t fear your sadness.
Black girl don’t suppress your depression.
Black girl we’ve all lost something.
Black girl we wanna keep you.
Black girl i’m sorry.
Black girl I know you’re tired of apologies.
Black girl stay here.
Black girl
Black girl
Black girl be black girl
Black girl be as black as you feel girl.


Photos from “Scratch the Page: T. Miller Takes the Mic” presented by insideOut Literary Arts Project.

Photos feature Writer-in-Residence Deonte Osayande,  Program Coordinator Norene Cashen, and the former #2 Indie Slam Poet in the World/Detroit Slam Grand Champ/Detroit’s very own T. Miller!

So tired of black women coming up missing. Equally sad to know that when the bodies are found lifeless, the majority of the time the blood is found on the hands of black men. Has our strength confused them? Is it our tough skin that makes them believe we can handle death? Are we no longer pretty, or submissive enough to deserve life? This pain needs answers.