Don’t Stop Using Your Voice (Spoken Word)

Oh, what’s that?! It’s yet another #SpokenWordSaturday


This is my reminder that I have a voice.
That sounds silly,
huh?
Considering I am a poet
and I have a daily habit of peeling back layers of skin,
exposing the rawest parts of myself
on the internet.
A place notorious for how it responds
to vulnerability and honesty,
It seems weird that I need to remind myself
of my own voice.
Because I use it all the time.
He even tells me I am the loudest girl heโ€™s ever been with,
and I am embarrassed at first,
but he smiles,
tells me it’s a good thing.
My voice is a good thing.
Because I am okay reexamining my scars,
wiping away foundation and cover up.
The make up that I walked around with for so long
Hiding pieces of myself,
As if removing a tattoo
can ever take away the memory of when it first stung you.
When the needle first pierced you.
We try so hard to cover things that we will never actually escape.
Like that one open mic when a girl approached me,
Nervous,
told me I was so brave after I performed,
And I wanted to tell her about the night I waited in the bar.
I took an Uber from downtown Los Angeles to Hollywood
because he picked the spot we would meet.
I was so eager,
I forgot I had a voice.
My throat felt like it was closing
as I waited for him,
Alone
in that bar.
The bartender asked if I want another drink,
and I say sure.
Because I am embarrassed again,
wondering what people around must think around me.
30 minutes go by and he finally texts me back.

He had fallen asleep.

I meant so little
when the thought of our reunion kept me awake,
burning,
and he fell asleep.
But I forgave him as soon as he hugged me.
My voice,
silenced.

Sometimes, I read my own words
and wonder how I could ever say them out loud
to the people
who deserve to hear them.
Someone comments on one of my poems
and tells me they could never do what I do.
And I want to tell them,
Yes.
You can.
Because I lose my voice more than youโ€™d believe,
So maybe we can go looking for ours together.
The night I needed help
but was afraid to ask,
So I swallowed my shame
and anxiety,
felt it slide down my chest.
Settle somewhere in my stomach.

My voice is sometimes just my fingertips,
Typing.
Click.
Clack.
I donโ€™t know how to tell people I love to come back.
or that I donโ€™t really feel comfortable
with that,
Donโ€™t leave me waiting
in a bar
alone in Hollywood.
Fuck,
I have a voice,
And I forgot that.

Strength doesnโ€™t always mean
shouting
or screaming.
Sometimes strength
is just the courage to remind yourself
you have a voice.
And it might waiver,
Be softer than others,
or boom when you least expect it.
But you have a voice.
Do not let someone take that away
Least of all
Yourself.
Donโ€™t take your own voice.

This is my reminder
That I have a voice.
I have a choice.
This is our reminder.
This is our reminder.

Do not stop using your voice. TC mark

Ari Eastman

โœจ real(ly not) chill. poet. writer. mental health activist. mama shark. โœจ

Related

More From Thought Catalog

blog comments powered by Disqus