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Home | Episode #29
ASD and Curve
April 15, 2019 | Student Producer:

Lily Yates
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ASD and Curve
Spoken word artist Amen Ra presents two poems with heart. (6 minutes)
Amen Ra

So April is National Poetry Month and poets take on the challenge to write a poem every day of the month, you know, just to kind of keep the juices flowing, keep the creative juices flowing, and we all kind of just had this community where we all share on social media and just kind of read and we're just immersed in poetry for the entire month. And this is one of the poems that I wrote, um, during the month. And I, I she, she asked me what the title is and I forgot what it was for a second, it's ASD, but this is, the title of the poem is ASD. And um, this is a quick one before I get into my second piece.

I had open heart surgery when I was three years old. The scars still rest on my chest like a comfortable lover, my mother was anything but comfortable when I got it. I remember her crawling into my hospital bed, holding me like a high note from her favorite song, praying I lived to hear its chorus once again. The surgery and recovery were both successful, but I remember pacing myself with physical activity. I was chasing my sister around the living room once and she hurdled my father's favorite chair in an attempt to escape. I remember coming up to the chair, pausing, and cautiously walking around it. I wasn't sure if my heart could handle the strain. And as an adult, I approached romantic relationships in the same fashion, avoiding taking leaps while chasing twin flames, not sure if the stitches in my chest would hold, exposing an organ whose key notes were out of tune.

But you found a way to worship in my cathedral, tugging at my heartstrings until they produced a joyful noise of laughter, a prescription you could only fill during a time my smile was labored. Your kiss strengthened my resolve, your scent, an intimate plaything. Your eyes undid the sutures of my soul and watched it bleed.

Thank you.

So uh, shifting from that, um, that energy, so the second piece is called Curve, and we're coming up to, you know, the Valentine's Day, um, uh, you know, holiday, holiday, I guess, corporate holiday, I guess we could call it. And, um, as much as it is, as it is a celebration of love, for a lot of people it's a celebration of being alone. Um, and not having somebody to share the space with. So, um, this poem is in the spirit of anybody who's ever been rejected before. So, uh, here we go, Curve.

So a curve is mathematically defined as a continuously bending line with no straight parts, uh, to have to make a shift, change, or deviation from a plane surface without sharp breaks or angularity. Now, the Urban Dictionary says a curve is to ignore, avoid, or sidestep someone's obvious expression of romantic interests. Y'all, the first time I got curved was at a skating rink when I was 13. I approached this girl. My skates became a chariot, strobe lights illuminated the path. Mariah Carey's "Sweet Fantasy" blasted in the background, and the aroma of fresh popcorn put me in the front seat of my very own romantic comedy. Now, trying to mask my nervousness, I decided to use a pickup line I heard once. I said, "Excuse me, do I know you from somewhere?" She responded, "You don't know shit."

Now in that moment, right in that moment, my smile transformed into a continuously bending line with no straight parts. My friends' laughter felt like wet cement pouring into my ear. It hardened in my chest, grabbed every organ in sight, and sank it into a bottomless pit of embarrassment. You know, they say curves don't have sharp breaks. But her words cut my pride and reopened a wound I didn't know was still there. You see, the scars of rejection represent an opportunity lost, a turn for the worse, a deviation from a beautiful daydream, see, I have fallen in love with women before even knowing their name, I place her potential on a pedestal, set prayers on the uneven surface, and gotten pissed when the entire thing toppled over. I've been obsessed with their acute faces, infatuated with their obtuse angles, but I had a really hard time choosing the right one, obviously, I'm not that good at geometry.

But these days I'm starting to learn the harsh lesson that people are allowed to leave you. To love you, but not want to talk to you, to fall in love with someone else and move on and do whatever they need to do to become a better version of themselves. But that also means we can do the same. We can fill the empty space they left with our own presence. We could get reacquainted with the child staring back at us in the mirror. We can laugh and sing for no other reason than to celebrate the fact that we are alive and let hope beat a percussion that makes the blood march through our veins. Yes, these words are easier delivered into a microphone than used as stitches for open wounds, but I'm sure of one thing. When that person you choose also chooses you, it will be the most beautiful couples' skate you can imagine. And you will approach each curve of that rink, hand in hand, your smiles, two continuously bending lines without break, without angularity, bringing everything full circle.

Thank you.